“Taty” Came In And NYCFC Gets Important Win

By Rich Mancuso/ Sports Editor

New additions Eric Miller and Gary Mackay- Steven joined NYCFC at Yankee Stadium Thursday night in their 3-2 win over the Houston Dynamo.  They helped create space and coach Domenec Torrent made the necessary adjustments in the second half that were enough for a comeback and gaining three points in the standings.

An important win after losing Saturday on the road to Real Salt Lake. It’s getting to the point of the MLS season when wins are more important than the draw and with the rival Red Bulls right behind them this was one of those victories that can be appreciated.

They went into the half tied 1-1 The two teams went into their locker rooms but did not resume play for another hour due to severe weather in the vicinity. A delay  of game in the MLS due to weather delays are rare.

So obviously a delay can lead to a loss of momentum, at least that is assumed. Not the case for NYCFC. They made a comeback and got two impressive goals from  Valentin Castellanos that broke a tie and secured an important win.

“ It’s not common to have a delay in any league,” Castellanos said. “ We tried to stay calm and come out and play.”

And they were aggressive. Castellanos, the native of Mendoza Argentina, scored his first goal late in the second half off a header. The second one, his 7th of the season, was a right footer off the corner. He was a late substitution and that became the decisive answer for coach Torrent.

Aug 8, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York City FC midfielder Alexandru Mitrita (28) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Houston Dynamo during the first half at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The adjustment, “Taty” came in for Miller. It’s the insurance a coach needs this time of year.

“We had to win the game,” Torrent said. “We needed the result. We were able to create opportunities. When you are in the key moment in the game you have to score. Even when it was 1-0, we had opportunities to go 2-0 three or four times and then after that [Houston] created two opportunities and they scored two goals.”

The win propelled NYCFC ahead of the Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference standings as they prepare for their next match Saturday at Atlanta.

“I said to Taty during halftime–10 minutes in he will play. I think Taty plays much better when he is a striker. He has this quality. Right now, I am very happy with him because everybody deserves to play but he showed me in training that he has the desire to play every single game. He is a fighter. This year he has improved a lot.”

And for NYCFC it was a lot. They, as the coach said, needed this win. The weather delay, as unusual as it was, did not break the momentum. 

Houston played with one man short, Romell Quioto, hit with a red card early for violent conduct and that took some momentum away after an early 1-0 lead.

“To stay over in middle, and play in between the two center backs and the chances would come,” Castallanos said.  “The fans were incredible, like I always say, there is not enough words to thank the fans. Here at home and when they travel away as well its incredible. Even though the weather wasn’t great, they stayed and well this victory is also for them.”

And it was a victory that NYCFC needed as they head to Atlanta with momentum.

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