New York City FC visited Sporting Park to take on Sporting Kansas City in the first game of their 2018 MLS season. The two clubs each had new Designated Players on show, as NYCFC handed Jesus Medina a debut and Felipe Gutierrez and Yohan Croizet played their first MLS matches for SKC.
Last season the clubs played just once which took place in Yankee Stadium as the home side took home all three points. A late Jack Harrison goal gave his side a 1-0 lead and all three points. Sporting KC will be hoping for a better result this time around.
The game began in Sporting KC's half for most of the opening quarter of an hour as NYCFC put their attack ability on display. David Villa continually put shots on goal but none found the back of the net.
As time progressed, the hosts grew into the game more with their best chance coming in the 30th minute when SKC's two new Designated Players connected. Felipe Gutierrez played a lovely weighted ball over to the top which led to an acrobatic attempt from Yohan Croizet which dribbled just wide.
The first goal of NYCFC's season came in the 31st minute when David Villa was found wide open in SKC's box. Ike Opara attempted to close him down but the Spaniard took him on with ease, put the ball in front of goal and Maxi Moralez met it, and ran off in celebration.
The half continued with chances going either way but no more goals. A late David Villa breakaway saw the 2016 MLS MVP fail to even get a shot off right before the halftime whistle and the visitors went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
Just eight minutes into the second half, NYCFC doubled their lead through their new Young DP, Jesus Medina. A counterattack led by Ben Sweat who curled a ball into the 19-year-old gave NYCFC a 2 goal lead.
Not much happened until the 80th minute when Maxime Chanot put in a challenge in on Daniel Salloi. After originally ruling it a penalty, referee Mark Geiger checked with Video Assistant Referee and decided it was not a penalty.
Once again, Chanot was in question in the 87th minute when Geiger was forced to go back to VAR. This time, Geiger went to the back pocket and sent off the defender. The resulting free-kick was pushed onto the bar by Sean Johnson. Unfortunately, SKC couldn't grab a goal and the game ended 2-0 to the visitors.
New York City FC will look to carry their form into the home opener as they host the LA Galaxy at Yankee Stadium next week before hosting fellow 2015 MLS expansion club Orlando City SC the week after.
Sunday's hosts will travel to Toyota Park to take on the Chicago Fire. Following that, SKC will return home for their first Western Conference battle of the season when they take on the San Jose Earthquakes.