New York City FC were pushed hard by a committed San Jose Earthquakes side at windy Yankee Stadium on Saturday. But Tommy McNamara came off the bench to win the game in an eventful second-half cameo, scoring the game-winning goal and drawing a late red-card challenge from Victor Bernardez in a 2-1 victory.
Marco Ureña snatched an early lead for the visitors, taking advantage of a woeful sequence by NYCFC deep in their own end. But City responded just minutes later via a delightful connection between David Villa and Jack Harrison. After the break, NYCFC grew in confidence and it fell to McNamara to calmly cap a gorgeous passing move.
Some 13 minutes later the substitute also found himself on the receiving end of an ugly rake of the studs by Bernardez, leaving the Quakes behind the 8-ball with 10 men.
- NYCFC's McNamara "makes an impression" with decisive cameo vs. San Jose
- Watch David Villa's heel passes that helped NYCFC win vs. Quakes
- QUAKES TRAVEL TROUBLES: San Jose have struggled mightly away from home for the past year and a half. With Saturday’s loss they are now 0-2 away from Avaya Stadium this season and 1-13-7 in their last 21 road matches, dating all the way back back to September 2015.
- PIRLO PROBLEMS: Andrea Pirlo was culpable twice over on the Quakes' goal, first playing a poor back pass to Sean Johnson and then turning lackadaisical spectator as Ureña beat the NYCFC goalkeeper. Pirlo repeatedly looked vulnerable to San Jose's pressing and it's notable that City scored shortly after McNamara replaced him.
- VILLA'S VICIOUS VISION: NYCFC's Spanish star does so much more than score, as he showed with two very similar eyes-in-the-back-of-his-head backheels that created his team's goals on Saturday. Combine it with his constant, cunning movement and you have a recipe for torturing central defenders.