Brendan Hines-Ike scored on a thunderbolt in his MLS debut, Russell Canouse added what would stand as the game-winner and the Hernan Losada era got off to a strong start with D.C. United's 2-1 win over New York City FC on Saturday night at Audi Field.
HIGHLIGHTS: D.C. United vs. New York City FC | April 17, 2021
Former D.C. youth academy product Andy Najar also made his return to Washington as a late substitute for the Black-and-Red, who overcame a shaky start to earn a deserved three-points despite being installed by oddsmakers as sizable underdogs.
Valentin Castellanos scored early for NYCFC, who lost their second consecutive MLS opener and are now winless in their last three.
The Cityzens held nearly 62% of the possession on the evening, but that was fine for Losada, whose emphasis on pressure and transition may have been familiar to the visitors from their recent New York Derby clashes with the Red Bulls.
- THE BIG PICTURE: With respect to NYCFC, Saturday night was all about the beginning of the Losada era. As promised, his style was a dramatic departure that preached by Ben Olsen over the last decade. But it also was no return to the Magic Triangle roots of D.C.'s four early MLS Cups, with the Black-and-Red shading this contest despite completing less than 58% of their passes.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Imagine not scoring a goal in league competition for nearly four years, then introducing yourself to your new club and supporters with a genuine goal of the week candidate. That's exactly what Hines-Ike did, after last scoring for Orebro in Sweden's top flight on July 8, 2017.
GOAL: Brendan Hines-Ike, DC United - 39th minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Russell Canouse: The No. 6 made a difficult go-ahead finish off Julian Gressel's corner kick look simple, and was a reliable and consistent motor in the first game of this new, fast-paced era in the nation's capital.
- DC: Saturday, April 24th at New England Revolution (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
- NYC: Saturday, April 24th vs. FC Cincinnati (1 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+)