MLS: NYCFC looks to build momentum vs. D.C. United

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New York City Football Club looks to build on its first win of the season when it hosts D.C. United on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium.

NYCFC (1-1-1, 4 points) is coming off a 1-0 victory in its home opener over Inter Miami CF last weekend, while D.C. United (1-1-1, 4 points) got a late goal to secure a 1-1 draw against visiting Orlando City SC.

NYCFC got all it would need in the 36th minute. Keaton Parks was fouled by Miami’s Gregore. Santiago Rodriguez’s kick from about 30 yards on the right side hooked into a scramble in front of the net, where Miami defender Christopher McVey accidentally volleyed it past goalkeeper Drake Callender.

“We wanted to start with energy, and start aggressive, and I thought we did that — probably more so in the second half than in the first, but in the first half, we did that,” NYCFC coach Nick Cushing said. “The game was swinging, but the goal gives us a foothold in the game, a platform to push on.”

NYCFC goalkeeper Luis Barraza made three saves to record the fourth shutout of his career.

“We’re only going to get better as a team. I’m certain of that, and we’re only going to get stronger as a squad as we add more,” Cushing said. “We’ve put our first foot forward. It’s going to be a difficult game against D.C. but if we work hard this week, we can put another performance in.”

D.C. United salvaged a draw against Orlando by scoring late — something the team is already showing a knack for early in the season.

After Orlando City took a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute, Chris Durkin pulled D.C. United even in the 80th minute.

“I wanted to see a reaction (to Orlando’s goal), which I did, so 90 percent of the game I thought was good. The other 10 percent it wasn’t,” D.C. United coach Wayne Rooney said. “We need to make sure when we go into (low) periods, we’re harder to beat or harder to score against.

“There’s a lot of positives we can take from it — just frustrating we didn’t take three points.”

Pedro Santos found Durkin at the edge of the penalty box. Durkin made a quick move around a defender before unleashing a left-footed shot that settled inside the far right post past diving goalie Pedro Gallese.

“I can’t say I’ve hit that (with the left foot) in training before,” said the right-footed Durkin.

It was the third time this season D.C. United has scored at the 80-minute mark or later. In the season opener against Toronto, D.C. United scored in the 90th minute to draw level and then won it, 3-2, in the eighth minute of stoppage time.

D.C. United won in the most recent meeting (2-1 last August), but NYCFC has won three of the past four in the series.

–Field Level Media

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