Eastern Conference-leading New York City FC got the second half of their season started in style with a resounding 5-1 win against 10-man Colorado Rapids on a rainy Saturday afternoon in the Bronx.
The game experienced a 40-minute weather delay midway through the first half due to lightning strikes in the area.
Frank Lampard scored NYCFC's first ever hat trick, Tony Taylor netted his first goal at Yankee Stadium just before half, and Steven Mendoza added a late tally to pace the home side to the largest margin of victory in team history. Shkelzen Gashi added a stoppage time tally for Colorado to avoid the shutout.
The loss had all kinds of ignominious implications for Colorado, who snapped a 15-game unbeaten streak that dated back to an April 9 loss to Real Salt Lake. The Rapids entered the match with an MLS-best 14 goals conceded this season, never having trailed by even two goals, before the five goal onslaught.
- FRANK THE TANK: It's not only that Lampard scored NYCFC's first-ever hat trick. It's that the England legend has completely obliterated the haters with a torrid stretch of performances since finally getting onto the field for an extended period of time these past couple of months. Since June 18, Lampard has scored more goals – eight – than anyone in MLS.
- AND ALL THIS COMES WITHOUT...David Villa. The unquestioned leader of the team was suspended on Saturday, and many wondered how NYC would fair against the league's best defense without their scoring maestro. Obviously, it appears that this team can function without him. Tommy McNamara and Jack Harrison both were exemplary again, adding valuable young talent to the starting XI.
- WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS: It's hard to choose the right statistics to quantify the breakdown by the Rapids on Saturday. As mentioned above, the 15-game unbeaten streak is over. They entered the game with a league-leading 14 goals conceded this season and then let in a third of that number in one game. NYCFC scored twice in the first half, taking the total number of first-half goals Colorado has conceded this season to – five.
- 28’ – NYC – Frank Lampard (Thomas McNamara, Diego Martinez)
- 42' – NYC – Tony Taylor
- 75' – NYC – Steven Mendoza
- 81' – NYC – Lampard (Jack Harrison)
- 85' – NYC – Lampard (PK)
- 90 – COL – Shkelzen Gashi
- Full box score
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