(Thomas McNamara celebrates with Maxi Morales – USA Today Sports)
Thomas McNamara delivered the winning goal for New York City Football Club just four minutes after entering the game to deliver a 2-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes.
McNamara came on in the 63rd minute for Andrea Pirlo, and he got a feed from Ronald Matarrita for the big goal.
NYCFC Head Coach Patrick Vieira said of why he took out Pirlo, and also what he thought of McNamara’s impact, “You guys are just seeing when he put the ball in the back of the net. On my side, I see the buildup of that. I saw the touch of David (Villa). I see Tommy in the right place at the right time, and with his strength, he put it in the back of the net, but sometimes you have a plan and games go in a different way and you have to change your plan. I made a decision to take off Andrea, not because he was having a bad game. I thought he was playing quite well. The way we were playing in the first half, we were managing to get on the board and dictate the game, it’s just I wanted something a little bit different and that’s why I changed Andrea. And Tommy, it went in the right way, but that’s just a coach making a decision, but it’s was a tough one to make because Andrea was having a good game.”
McNamara said of the goal, “Yeah it was a great build up down the left side, and I just remember thinking to myself just get into the box, get myself free and into a good area. When the ball broke through with Mattarita and he got in behind I was just hoping he would cut it back to me and he did and played a perfect ball to me and I just made sure to keep it on frame because the goalie was a little bit out of the equation at that point.”
McNamara said of Vieira’s instructions coming off the bench, “It was to be slightly more offensive and to push and get a goal. You know we want to get three points at home, that is what we need to do every game when we’re playing at home and so that is what I was looking to do, to be solid with the ball, to get myself forward trying to create things, and try to get myself into place where others are creating for me.”
San Jose got the early lead in the sixth minute on a goal by Marco Urena, and NYCFC tied it four minutes later on a goal by Jack Harrison, which was assisted by Villa and Matarrita.
NYCFC is now 2-1-1 on the young season. This win marked NYCFC’s first come from behind victory of the season. It is also the first time since July 30, 2016 that NYCFC were victorious without a goal from David Villa. NYCFC were victorious in that match 5-1, thanks to a hat trick from Frank Lampard.
Their regular season home match unbeaten streak has been extended to 11 matches. NYCFC are 9-0-2 (W-L-D) in that span, with a goal differential of +20 (31-11).
Vieira said of how he would assess NYCFC’s defense and the goaltending of Sean Johnson, “We have played four games so far and we’ve scored goals and created opportunities, so I’m happy with the way we’ve been playing. And defensively as well, we’ve conceded less this year, but there’s still parts of the game that we need to improve, but overall, I’m really pleased with our attitude when we’re on the field.”