SEATTLE – Through 17 games of the 2016 season, New York City FC now have the most road victories of any team in MLS.
NYCFC bagged another win away from Yankee Stadium against the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field on Saturday, riding goals from Frank Lampard and Ronald Matarrita to a 2-0 victory. NYCFC is now a solid 4-2-1 on the road and 6-5-6 overall.
“I think it’s because we commit and are working hard,” said NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira. “We respect our game plan and we didn’t give them any chance to really develop their game … I was really pleased because it’s not an easy place to come and score two goals then go back to New York with no goals conceded.”
Vieira cited his team’s all-around defensive effort to maintain the clean sheet in a tough environment as an important takeaway from Saturday’s result. Coming into the game, NYCFC had given up a league-high 31 goals.
“It’s true that we conceded a few goals the last few games, but that’s why it was good today. Not just the three points, but how solid we looked,” Viera said. “I was really pleased with not only the way we defended in the back four, but also the way David [Villa], Jack [Harrison] and Tommy [McNamara] worked really hard and made it difficult for them.”
Lampard’s opening goal in the 38th minute was the subject of much debate during and after the contest, as replays showed the ball might have taken a deflection off the English midfielder’s arm before bouncing into the goal.
Matarrita would seal the result in the 84th minute, however, after a botched backpass from Seattle’s Joevin Jones would eventually find the Costa Rica international in front of an empty net, allowing him to drive home a simple finish to seal the result.
“In the second half, maybe we didn’t play so well,” Lampard said. “But I think we created more chances and I think we got a goal we deserved. I think Seattle can’t complain – albeit they’re a good team – they can’t complain because I think we played well today.”
Saturday’s result affords NYCFC some positive vibes as they gear up for their next fixture, which will see them return home for a big derby matchup against the New York Red Bulls at Yankee Stadium on July 3.