FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Four straight wins, three consecutive clean sheets and atop the Eastern Conference, this is the New York City FC that many had hoped would emerge when they began play almost a year and a half ago.
With a 1-0 win in New England on Wednesday night, they continue their run as the hottest club in the league, but ever mindful that there is plenty of work to be done on the long season.
“I think we can always improve as a team,” said NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira after the game. “Having four wins in a row, that gives us confidence and a happy camp to keep doing what we believe. I think coming here wasn’t an easy place to take the three points without conceding goals.”
Crediting the team’s ability to play from the back and create chances, Vieira noted the team’s strong personality coming through over this stretch.
He was also quick to note his side’s ability to stick to their principles and their game plan, which allowed them to escape with another three points from the road, where they are 4-0-1 over their last five, by far the best road form in MLS.
“I think we showed our personality, we stick to our principles and when we manage play from the back we create so many chances, we create so many situations,” said Vieira. “We really had control of the game…To play the way we did tonight was fantastic.”
The NYCFC defense allowed just two shots to reach target, handled cleanly by Josh Saunders, who recorded his fifth shutout of the season.
“I think from an organizational standpoint and just a pure work ethic standpoint, we’ve done really, really well,” said Tommy McNamara, who assisted on Lampard’s goal. “As a result of that we’ve made it difficult on other teams to create a lot of chances and to get goals. The more clean sheets we have is exactly what we want and what we need. We have some good players in and around the goal who are going to be able to create our chances.”