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NYCFC shows its full potential with five goals in win over Orlando City SC

NYCFC forward Jesus Medina works the ball against

NYCFC forward Jesus Medina works the ball against the Columbus Crew during an MLS soccer match Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Harrison,N.J.  Credit: AP/Noah K. Murray

New York City FC showed on Sunday exactly what it can be when its finishing touch appears.

In the club’s first match at Yankee Stadium since May, NYCFC controlled all aspects of the game against Orlando City SC, capitalizing on the chances it so often has failed to this season in a convincing 5-0 victory.

The five-goal effort was the best for NYCFC (7-2-5, 23 points) since a 5-0 win over FC Cincinnati in April. It also tied best single-game output in club history, a mark previously reached on five occasions.

NYCFC dictated much of the action throughout the first half, but the ball didn’t cross the line until the 40th minute when Jesús Medina added to his team scoring lead. After Valentín Castellanos went down trying to hold up play, Medina gathered the loose ball into the box and fired a powerful shot past Orlando keeper Pedro Gallese for his seventh of the year, setting a new high for his four-year MLS career.

 

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored his sixth of the season not long after halftime with his own rocket into the top corner, his second goal in as many games, giving NYCFC a 2-0 lead in the 53rd minute.

Maxi Moralez added to the total in the 65th minute with his fourth of the year, capitalizing on a fortunate bounce after Castellanos pulled Gallese out of goal. Malte Amundsen then made it 4-0 with his first MLS goal, finishing his run in the box with a volley from a Moralez pass over the Orlando backline.

Castellanos, who did the dirty work much of the evening, was rewarded with a spot on the scoresheet with a tap-in goal in the 82nd minute, his first since opening the season with goals in four consecutive matches. By night’s end, New York City tied a club record with 15 shots on goal.

NYCFC now has four points in two matches this year against Orlando (7-4-3, 25 points), the team that sent home NYCFC in last season’s MLS Cup Playoffs in a wild penalty-kick finish.

The club played before an energetic crowd of 13,513 at Yankee Stadium in its first match at its traditional home venue since a May 22 draw against the Columbus Crew. NYCFC is playing several matches this season at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, because of scheduling conflicts with the Yankees and the MLS calendar.

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