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Five Points: Don't Quit

June 30, 2022 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - New York City FC News Release

Don't Quit

Through difficult moments bonds can be forged.

To be 3-0 down on the road after a tough few games is a situation no player wants to be in. Those circumstances provide you two very different directions to head in - either fold or stand up. On Wednesday, the players chose to stand up and fight back.

The spirit and character displayed from the 45th minute onwards spoke to a group determined to reach their potential and work hard each day in pursuit of that goal. It was a hard-earned point, but a point nonetheless.

What A Strike

As goals go, Gabriel Pereira's was unforgettable. The winger's driving run through the middle opened up the space for him to unleash a fierce drive that made it seem like the ball was on a wire.

That strike was the peak of an overall strong showing in which the youngster displayed quick feet and intelligence to cause havoc down both wings.

Super Sub

The unfortunate and untimely injury to Maxime Chanot was not what Nick Cushing wanted, but after a quick rejig things were back on course.

The decision to bring on Justin Haak was reward for the youngsters' high level in training and with NYCFC II - further reinforcing the pathway to first team football at the Club.

Haak won't have been pleased to pick up a yellow card early into his appearance, but from there he showed tremendous maturity and composure both on and off the ball.

Those qualities helped NYCFC establish control of the game and saw Haak enhance his reputation in the process.

Maxi Magic

To watch Maxi Moralez's performance against Cincinnati is to see a playmaker thriving.

Moralez finished the game with three assists, which is a fantastic return, but so much of what he brings to this team sits outside of a stat sheet.

The veteran knows when to slow things down, when to speed them up, how to move the chess pieces on the board to create space and make NYCFC dangerous. Nick Cushing praised Moralez's leadership after the game, but perhaps teammate Héber, who scored twice via Maxi passes, said it best.

"It's easy to answer because I don't have words to describe what Maxi Moralez means to this team, especially to me," he said. "Since my first day here we've had an amazing connection. He and his family helped me a lot during the time I was injured. For the team he is our leader, inside and outside of the pitch. Everyone respects him. You can see when the game is not easy you can give the ball to him and he finds the right person, the right pass, he scores goals, he assists goals. I am so happy to have him on my team and by my side."

Big Saves

While much of the discussion around Wednesday's game focused on two sides attacking with vim and vigor, it was the work of Sean Johnson that made sure NYCFC left with a point.

Two massive stops from Sean Johnson in the dying minutes helped preserve a point and reminded everyone why NYCFC are the current MLS Cup holders.

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Major League Soccer Stories from June 30, 2022

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