BRONX, N.Y. — Dome Torrent’s fourth taste of the Hudson River Derby was the New York City FC coach’s sweetest.
The Spaniard won in his first match against the New York Red Bulls, which was also Chris Armas’ debut as Red Bulls coach last July. But considering tactics, emotions, intensity and his team’s response to conceding early, there’s nothing better for Torrent than Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Yankee Stadium.
“Maybe its the best performance, for sure, in my period here against the Red Bulls,” Torrent said.
It was certainly an improvement from a loss by the same scoreline at Red Bull Arena a month ago.
In that game, Torrent lauded his team’s play in the opening 45 minutes and was understandably upset about the controversial decision to allow Danny Royer’s winning goal to stand. The sequence started with a quickly-taken throw-in by Alex Muyl despite assistant referee Corey Rockwell indicating for a corner kick.
“The difference today we play not just 45 minutes, maybe the last 10 minutes we didn’t play well, we were nervous a little bit and we miss a lot of balls,” Torrent said. “Maybe the difference is we play 60-70 minutes in a row well. Against Red Bulls [at Red Bull Arena] we played 45 minutes unbelievable, for me, it's my opinion, but the rest of the game you know what happened there.”
Armas was upset about conceding an equalizing penalty late in the first half — ironically, the Red Bulls did the same at home last month. But his frustration appeared to be split between Michael Amir Murillo, who was called for the foul, and Maxi Moralez, who Armas said “goes down easy” before the Argentine slotted in his seventh goal of the season.
“You can't give things away like this if you want to win games,” he said. “We’ve had this and the teams that finish on top, you can make those errors or listen, some guys go down easy. I mean, Murillo, it doesn’t look like he does that much and Moralez just falls over. Maybe every time on corner kicks there should be penalties.”
Armas also railed against NYCFC for what he considered excessive time-wasting down the stretch.
“I've not been in a game this year with that much time wasting from a team. That was really disappointing to see,” he said. “It’s worth saying that our referees have a difficult job, but I'll tell you that no one paid to come here in a derby match to see this type of stoppages and delaying and moving up the field, like ‘the throw-in’s not here, can I change the soccer ball?’ Come on. For me? No good.
“Our league should look at that and how do we manage that? You pull out yellow cards? Yeah. Because I mean, our team would never do this.”
When told of Armas’ claim, Torrent was sarcastic in his response.
“OK, I agree with Chris,” Torrent said. “If for Chris the game is the last 10 minutes when the opponent hit the crossbar three times and one post, I agree with Chris.”