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 New York City FC

Five Points: Masterclass

April 22, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
New York City FC News Release

New York City FC overcame D.C. United at Citi Field on Saturday.

Goals from Santiago Rodríguez and Julián Fernández gave City a big win.

Here are Five Points from the game...

Aerial Bombardment

Nick Cushing highlighted the threat posed by Christian Benteke in his pre-match press conference on Thursday.

The Belgian international was tied at the top of the scoring charts heading into this game, with his aerial prowess a major part of United' attacking strategy. As the game progressed, D.C. opted for a more direct approach by utilizing high looping balls into City's penalty area aimed at Benteke.

That gave Birk Risa and Thiago Martins a lot of work to do and to their credit the defensive duo performed admirably. By the end of the game Benteke had been limited to two shots on goal and City had three points to celebrate.


That was the word Nick Cushing used to describe Santiago Rodríguez's performance on Saturday night.

The forward was unlucky not to give City the lead even earlier than he did, but he recovered well from that missed opportunity by producing a calm finish in the 20th minute.

A constant threat, Rodríguez's ability to hold onto the ball and create space - both for himself and others - was vital in helping City establish control of the contest.

He drove the team forward in an attacking sense and capped off his brilliant performance was an assist for Julián Fernández late on. The Uruguayan is the focus of this month's Bound by Blue, where he talks about his dreams for both Club and country. You can watch the full episode here.

Clean Sheets

After Saturday New York City FC now have their second clean sheet in the space of seven days.

D.C. United offered a unique challenge for City's back five and they passed the test with flying colors.

Establishing the ability to keep clean sheets has been vital for City during this early part of the season, and back-to-back clean sheets highlights their continued development as a group.

This run is one they will not want to stop, and if they can maintain this good habit it will go a long way toward helping the team achieve their goals this season.

Numbers Game

While the box score provided a fair reflection of how Saturday's game went, the expected goals column only reinforced it.

City recorded their highest expected goals of the season against D.C. United, which highlighted just how strong their attacking intent was from the opening minute.

They created a number of high quality chances on the night and could have left the game with a larger margin of advantage, but for some impressive last-ditch defending from D.C. United.

Nick Cushing believed his side had set the standard for their attacking play against New England Revolution the previous week, and if that is the case one could argue they raised the bar against United on Saturday.

The key now is to maintain that quality across the coming weeks.

Fun in the Citi

Citi Field remains a happy hunting ground for New York City FC, and that's in no small part to the atmosphere you create.

It starts long before a ball is kicked and it spurs the players and staff on to deliver excellence like we saw on Saturday.

If that was ever in doubt, it was shown clearly with Matt Freese turning to celebrate with the fans after a United attacked fizzled out.

Home comforts have been vital for City in the last two weeks and we can't wait to get back there again this weekend.

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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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