Though NYCFC was able to handle the San Jose Earthquakes at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, winning 2-1, coach Dome Torrent made it sound more like an escape than a decisive win — and had plenty of praise for the visitors following the match.
“For me, they are the best team that has come through here [Yankee Stadium]," Torrent said in a post-match press conference. “When people talk about San Jose, they only talk about the fact that they man-mark, which is true, and it’s definitely uncomfortable to play against. But they don’t speak about how well they play soccer and the confidence with which they play. San Jose plays really good soccer. It’s a really good team. I like them a lot."
Torrent even favorably compared the Quakes to Supporters' Shield leaders LAFC.
“Over here we saw the leader [LAFC] with players of unquestioned quality like Carlos Vela and others. But if you ask me the team that has come through Yankee Stadium that I liked the most, I tell you it’s San Jose. They created a lot of trouble for us."
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“San Jose, [in] the last five games, play amazing when they have the ball," Torrent observed. "They defend man-to-man. But when they have the ball, they play with sometimes the fullbacks wide and the wingers inside, and that happened on the first goal we conceded."
Though it was the only goal NYCFC conceded, and they were able to recapture a lead before halftime they wouldn't relinquish, Torrent still praised the team, sitting at fifth in the West after Saturday's action, yet looking well-positioned for a playoff run.
"They played really well," Torrent enthused. "They have a bright coach, an amazing coach and team. It wasn’t easy.”