Five Points | Moralez Inspires NYCFC to Statement Win

Five Points Philadelphia

New York City FC defeated the Philadelphia Union 4-2 at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night.

Here’s Five Points from a captivating encounter in the Bronx, presented by Etihad Airways.

A Perfect Night

The goals were Argentine and the shirts were Hawaiian on a special night at Yankee Stadium as NYCFC twice recovered deficits and eased to victory over the Eastern Conference pacesetters.

A slightly subdued first half performance from the home side saw them trailing 2-1 at the half but a revved-up Boys in Blue put on a three-goal, unanswered 45’ blitz to make it 13 unbeaten in all competitions.

Taty Castellanos and Maxi Moralez both scored a brace to help NYC move within six points of the Conference summit with multiple games in hand on those ahead of them.

Let’s keep it going.

Dome’s Faith Repaid

In the build-up to the game, Dome spoke positively on the depth of his squad, which was tested once again with seven players ruled out through a combination of injury and international duty.

The squad lived up to Dome’s words against Philadelphia as Taty Castellanos came in for top-scorer Héber and demonstrated how quickly he has learned to be effective in the no.9 role, finishing clinically twice to earn the three points.

Taty explains: “It’s really sad that Heber is injured because he's been really doing a great job for the team.

“But I had the opportunity and I’m ready to support the team and especially when I’m scoring goals, it’s helpful.”

No doubt. In Dome’s words: "I don’t have doubt about Taty, because so many times in the facilities, he never gave up. Never. And it’s the best way to convince the coach. Because I say many times it’s impossible to win something with just 14 players. They have to be ready."

Taty certainly was.

All-Star Maxi

Castellanos seized his opportunity with the two late goals to win but the Man of the Match vote, but Maxi Moralez was the chief architect behind City’s thrilling comeback victory.

The Argentine recently received his first call-up to the MLS All-Star team in his third season in New York but Moralez has been an All-Star in the Bronx ever since he signed in 2017.

Our resident Spidey converted from the spot twice and created both of Taty’s goals vs. Philadelphia but even these direct goal contributions don’t paint the full picture on the influence Maxi had over this game.

NYC’s no.10 seemed to gradually ascend forward through the night, flitting between the lines and creating danger wherever he roamed.

All in all, another majestic outing from a player who now has five goals and ten assists in his last ten games in all competitions.

Staying Grounded

After this statement win, NYCFC are on the league’s longest unbeaten streak (11) and are second-only to LAFC when looking at the points-per-game column in the bicoastal rankings.

Although the picture is looking rosy, City are entering a grueling stage in the season but the players will keep their feet on the ground, recover well and keep focus solely on the next 90’.

West Coast Double

24,451 filled Yankee Stadium on Saturday night and we need the Bronx rocking again on Wednesday night when Seattle Sounders visit.

Looking slightly further ahead, Portland Timbers complete a West Coast 1-2 next Sunday.

If the games are half as entertaining and the atmosphere half as pumping as Saturday night, you’ll want to be in the building.

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