On Wednesday, New York City FC hosted Real Salt Lake in hopes of further extending their unbeaten start to the season. In order to do that, they'd have to beat a club they'd never beaten before. On top of the difficulties they'd had with RSL in the past, they'd have to do it without David Villa and Alex Ring in the starting lineup as the pair were just returning to the 18-man squad and didn't make the XI.
The first real chance of the game didn't take too long to see. Sean Johnson was called into question as a looping pass fell to Luis Silva but the American keeper made the save. Just four minutes later, Jo Inge Berget released NYCFC's newest Designated Player, Jesus Medina. The Paraguayan's shot was blocked and the hosts were forced to take a corner kick which resulted in nothing.
As chances continued to come in increments of four, the first goal of the match came in the 12th minute. Maxi Moralez played Anton Tinnerholm, who was pushing very high on the right side of the pitch, down the wing before the Swede sent in a low cross to the middle. The cross was not dealt with well and eventually fell to the feet of Ismael Tajouri-Shradi. The new boy, who is in good form, curled a shot into the top corner and ran off in celebration.
Ronald Matarrita tried to pile it on in the 15th minute as his low shot to the far post skipped just wide. NYCFC continued to dominate for the rest of the opening half hour and eventually earned a penalty for a chance to double their lead. Justen Glad tripped up Maxi Moralez who was given the responsibility of taking the spot kick in David Villa's absence. The Argentian made no mistake and doubled the hosts lead.
Not long later, Jo Inge Berget calmy tucked the ball into the bottom corner to give NYCFC a 3-0 lead capping off a solid attack. Ronald Matarrita's pass was flicked on by Jesus Medina putting Berget in on goal and the Norwegian made no mistake. The whistle for halftime was blown just a few minutes later and NYCFC went into halftime up 3 goals.
NYCFC started on the backfoot to start the half once again as Sean Johnson was forced to make another big save. This time, he had to make a save on Corey Baird's header from close range. Then, NYCFC took control. A few moments later Maxi Moralez's pass to Yangel Herrera was placed just over the bar, nearly giving the side a 4-goal lead.
Somehow a chance in the 54th minute was also placed over the bar as Maxi Moralez nearly gave himself a brace. Berget's cross bounced around in the box before falling to the Argentine's feet who blasted the chance over the bar giving RSL a chance to breathe.
No much happened for the next 15 minutes besides the introductions of Alex Ring and David Villa. Then, in the 70th minute, Ebenezer Ofori matched Berget and opened his goalscoring account with NYCFC. Medina charged forward before playing Maxi Moralez. The #10 cut the ball back to Ofori who could make no mistake in front of goal and further extended NYCFC's lead.
From there, the match was just about over as everybody in the stadium, including those on the field, were just waiting for the final whistle. The visitors nearly grabbed a consolation goal but Maxime Chanot helped Sean Johnson grab a clean sheet with a 90th-minute clearance off the line. The game ended 4-0 to the hosts.
Following the big win on Wednesday, NYCFC will travel to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to put their unbeaten run to the test as they face Atlanta United. They'll then travel to Providence Park to face a winless Portland Timbers side. Finally, they'll return home to face FC Dallas on April 29th.
On the other hand, RSL will have a break at the weekend before looking to bounce back when they host the Colorado Rapids. Then, they'll head on the road in back-to-back games as they face the Vancouver Whitecaps and Orlando City SC.