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Five Points: Big Win

May 12, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
New York City FC News Release

New York City Football Club secured all three points against Toronto FC on Saturday.

An entrhalling 3-2 result saw City claim their first road victory of the season.

Here are Five Points from the game...

Super Strike

"It means the world to me to give back to this organization after they've given me so much by selecting me 8th overall [in the SuperDraft]," Malachi Jones said after the win in Toronto.

The forward arrived in the Five Boroughs as part of the 2024 MLS SuperDraft and made a strong impression during preseason.

His blend of speed and skill makes him an exciting prospect for City. Nick Cushing revealed after the game Jones was selected to start because of those very qualities - believing the forward could cause Toronto's back three problems with his direct running in 1v1 situations.

Jones certainly delivered what his coach expected. After several dangerous runs at TFC's defense, his crowning moment came on the stroke of halftime with his first goal in MLS. Jones' positional intelligence saw him stay wide and exploit the space created by Hannes Wolf's brilliant driving run down the right.

His first-time finish was particularly impressive and left Sean Johnson with no chance of stopping it. More importantly, the goal gave City a 2-0 lead heading into the break and dealt a hammer blow to any momentum Toronto were building.

Congratulations on your first MLS goal Malachi, it was an important one.

Narrow Margins

It's only once a game has concluded that you can begin to identify the most decisive moments. Last season on the road City found themselves on the wrong side of narrow margins, but that wasn't the case against Toronto.

On Saturday, the final minutes preceding halftime were vital in deciding the game.

Matt Freese's brilliant save in the 41st minute denied Prince Owusu and protected City's one-goal lead. Three minutes later, Malachi Jones was celebrating his first goal in MLS and City were preparing to enter the locker room with a two-goal advantage.

Goals change games in soccer, and City's ability to deny TFC at one end before grabbing a second themselves was vital in helping them establish control of the game en route to claiming a big road win.

Big Win

As highlighted in Keys to the Match, Saturday's game was an opportunity for City to record their first road win of the campaign.

Last season saw City denied road victories in the dying minutes on several occasions, but that wasn't the case against Toronto. That display of character from the group is a huge indicator of their continued development and was just reward for the hard work they have all put in across the last few months.

Toronto boasted an impressive home record heading into the contest and by claiming a win City have shown their potential as a group - something they must hold onto as they embark on some tough away trips in the coming weeks and months.

Hungry Like The Wolf

Hannes Wolf has enjoyed a solid start to his New York City FC career, but on Saturday, he produced arguably his best showing for the Club.

Wolf's technical quality and dogged determination made him a constant threat throughout the game, and he played a vital role in all three of City's goals.

The Austrian midfielder was a major influence on the game. The team's collective fight and determination were typified by Wolf's performance - one which deservedly earned him Player of the Match.

Bounce Back

Both players and staff were frustrated with City's result against the Colorado Rapids last weekend. It was important that the team produced a response to that disappointment, and to their credit, they did.

City's form has seen them take four wins from five games in MLS. Those 12 points have been integral in pushing the team up the Eastern Conference and into a playoff position.

Maintaining that spot is now the challenge and one that City's players are more than ready for.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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