Sports stats

 New York City FC

Five Points: Perfect Start

May 16, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
New York City FC News Release

New York City FC recorded a huge win against Philadelphia Union on Wednesday.

Goals from Alonso Martínez and Hannes Wolf handed City a 2-1 win.

Here are Five Points from the game...

Perfect start

City's first real attack of the night delivered Alonso Martínez's second goal of the season and handed the team a brilliant platform to build from.

In Keys to the Match, we touched on the importance of width when trying to attack Jim Curtin's 4-4-2 diamond system. It was no surprise that Santiago Rodríguez peeling into the right channel proved influential in creating the opportunity.

Elsewhere, both Andrés Perea's pass to Rodríguez to start the move, and Rodríguez's assist for Martínez were expertly executed and carved Philadelphia open.

The Costa Rican's well-taken finish capped off a brilliant team move and in the space of one attack City had flipped the game on its head, forcing Philadelphia to reevaluate their strategy.


City have managed to record two huge road wins in the space of a few days and the pattern of both games played out in eerily similar ways.

Not only did City grab a first-half lead, but they also managed to score a second goal close to halftime to double their advantage.

In both fixtures, City then saw that lead reduced early into the second half, but were able to hold on for an important three points. Moments change games, and in these past two outings, City have found a way to harness the moment and boost their momentum heading into the break.

Establishing that blueprint for success on the road could prove important during the rest of the season, with City picking their moments perfectly

Defensive Pressure

City faced an attacking onslaught from Philadelphia Union throughout the second half.

The hosts were desperate to avoid a fourth successive home defeat and that saw them throw everything they had at City.

Stood in their way, however, was a determined defensive unit. Kevin O'Toole, Mitja Ilenič, Birk Risa, and Thiago Martins left everything out on the field and when they could not stop the ball Matt Freese was on hand to make several brilliant saves.

City's ability to close out two big road games against teams aspiring to be atop the Eastern Conference should do a lot for confidence and self-belief.

The Boys in Blue were able to withstand sustained pressure against both Toronto and Philadelphia and it is that type of character that will stand them in good stead heading into the rest of the season.

The Wolf Strikes

Hannes Wolf has been 'training like an animal' according to Nick Cushing, and that hard work has been justly rewarded with a goal and two assists in his last two games.

The Austrian midfielder is a tireless worker and his goal was a testament to his impressive technical ability. He helped create several good chances for City on the night and used all of his energy in pursuit of three points before being withdrawn late on.

The midfielder revealed after the game his mother and father were in attendance against Philadelphia, and what better time to register your first MLS goal than with family in the stands?

Glückwunsch Hannes here's hoping it is the first of many!

Thank You

Home or away, rain or shine, you turn out and it was a huge boost for the players to see New York City FC jerseys in the stands last night.

The torrential downpour that followed wasn't ideal, but you brought the noise and the energy in only the way you could.

City will now return home to the Five Boroughs in search of a Hudson River Derby win and we know that you will help build a special atmosphere.

• Discuss this story on the Major League Soccer message board...

Major League Soccer Stories from May 16, 2024

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.

Other Recent New York City FC Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central