New York City FC

Charlotte FC Blanks NYCFC, 1-0

February 24, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
New York City FC News Release

The Boys in Blue started the season with defeat in North Carolina on Saturday. The hosts took the lead in the 8th minute through Adilson Malanda. Matt Freese denied Charlotte from the penalty spot in the second half and on a night of few chances for either side it finished 1-0 to Charlotte FC.

Match Recap

NYCFC kicked off their tenth season in MLS with a road game against Charlotte FC.

Head Coach Nick Cushing utilized a 4-2-3-1 formation with Matt Freese starting between the sticks. New signing Hannes Wolf was trusted to make his competitive bow in a number ten role behind Mounsef Bakrar.

The crowd in Queens City were keen to make their voices heard early on, and that allowed for a fast start from the home side, which saw them ahead inside the opening ten minutes.

A corner for Charlotte was headed against the crossbar by Teixeira Tavares and on hand to pounce on the rebound was teammate Adilson Malanda.

NYCFC were quick to summon a chance of their own after an exquisite through ball by Santiago Rodríguez put Wolf in on goal - a last ditch tackle by Andrew Privett denying the midfielder the chance to shoot.

The Boys in Blue almost found their equalizer in the 26th minute after a well-worked set-piece. Wolf pulled the ball back to Birk Risa, and although he could not connect with the pass it deflected off a Charlotte player toward goal - a last ditch clearance denying NYCFC a goal.

Cushing's side were growing into the game, and the 34th minute saw Bakrar peel wide to the right before flashing a shot across goal that required a save.

As the half neared its conclusion NYCFC earned a freekick on the edge of Charlotte's penalty box following a handball. Unfortunately, Rodríguez's attempt hit the wall and was subsequently cleared away.

The second period saw no changes for either side, with NYCFC eager to restore parity. They had an early chance when Keaton Parks nodded a Mitja Ilenič cross into the path of Bakrar, but the Algerian was unable to keep his effort on target.

In the 61st minute, Cushing turned to his bench to hand another new signing his debut as Jovan Mijatović replaced Julián Fernández. That change facilitated Wolf to move out wide with Mijatović sitting alongside Barker.

Charlotte were awarded a penalty in the 64th minute after Kevin O'Toole was deemed to have handled the ball during a coming together with Kerwin Vargas. The forward stepped up to take the resulting spot kick, but he was denied brilliantly by Matt Freese.

A second City substitute would arrive in the 74th minute as Tayvon Gray checked in for Ilenič. NYCFC's best chance of the game fell to Rodríguez two minutes later after brilliant work by Bakrar saw him dig out a cross on the right. The Uruguayan took a touch to control the ball, but blazed his subsequent effort over from close range.

Hannes Wolf had put in an admirable shift on his debut, and he was replaced in the 85th minute by Talles Magno. The Brazilian would get a look at goal in the 89th minute, but that would be the final notable chance for both sides, confirming a 1-0 victory for Charlotte.

How We Lined Up

What's Next

Next up for New York City FC is a trip to face St Louis City SC at CITYPARK on Saturday, March 2. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30PM ET.

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