NYCFC Draws with Portland at Coachella Valley Invitational

February 10, 2024 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - New York City FC News Release

New York City FC were back in action on Saturday afternoon as they took on the Portland Timbers at the Coachella Valley Invitational.

The Boys in Blue recorded a 2-2 draw against San Jose Earthquakes during their first outing in California on Wednesday.

Head Coach Nick Cushing made one change to the team that took on the Quakes, with Malachi Jones earning the start after his impressive showing last time out in place of Talles Magno.

NYCFC started the game well and established control of possession early on. That pressure resulted in a penalty for City in the 11th minute after a handball from a Timbers defender.

Santiago Rodríguez stepped up to take the kick and confidently hammered the ball past Maxime Crépeau.

Rodríguez almost netted a second goal of the half after a swift NYCFC breakaway resulted in him finding space at the top of the box. Unfortunately, despite the side-footed effort being well-taken, it skipped by the outside of the post.

At the other end, a turnover in the NYCFC defensive third allowed Portland the chance to counter through Felipe Mora.

The Chilean wound up to take a shot but on hand with a brave block was Birk Risa.

The Timbers had begun to settle into the game and were now enjoying a spell of possession of their own.

In the 35th minute, Evander was handed an opportunity from distance with a freekick.

The Brazilian was able to summon power and precision, but not enough to get the ball past Matt Freese, who collected comfortably.

Cushing opted to maintain the same starting XI heading into the second period, with changes arriving later in the half.

The first real chance of the half saw Matt Freese called into action to deny Evander after he rolled a curled shot from the top box - the shot-stopper comfortably collecting the ball.

Portland would equalize in the 58th minute through a header from Felipe Mora.

NYCFC would then proceed to introduce several changes across the next quarter of an hour including, Talles Magno, Justin Haak, Andres Jasson, Tayvon Gray, and Alonso Martinez.

The second period proved to be a game of few chances for either side as they both pushed for a game-winning goal. With neither side unable to find that decisive advantage both teams settled for a 1-1 draw.

NYCFC XI: Bakrar, Freese, Ilenič, Jones, Martins, O'Toole, Parks, Risa, Rodriguez, Sands, Wolf

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