Torrent to Players: “We Have to Respect the Game”

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC dominated FC Cincinnati on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium with a 5-2 win but head coach Dome Torrent wasn’t satisfied with how his team handled the game after the first 20 minutes. Goals from Mitrita and Heber put the home team ahead but the coach felt like the players started being too flashy with their play moving forward.

“We didn’t play well,” said Torrent about the performance after the early goals. “The game was not over and we have to respect the game. I said to them in the second half: ‘You have to respect the game.’ They are a good team. When I watch the games in Cincinnati maybe they deserve to have more points. Sometimes you see just the table and it’s not about that.”

Cincinnati continues to be the worst team in MLS and their poor defense showed throughout the game. Moving forward they generated some opportunities that forced back-up goalkeeper Brad Stuver into action but overall it the opposition looked lost against a City team that moved the ball similar to the Pep Guardiola team in Manchester. Perhaps a message to the Premier League champion coach who watched the game in the crowd.

City’s offense was on display with five forwards constantly assaulting the Cincinnati defense. Heber, Mitrita, Castellanos, Moralez and Tajouri-Shradi peppered the net and created dangerous chances. While it may not be the proper team selection against the likes of DC or the Red Bulls, it is a potent option that may be utilized late in games that has shown its effectiveness.

“We can play in this system even when we play in Yankee Stadium,” said Torrent. “It’s a different size, we play at home, we have our fans in the stands and everybody is happy.”

The win keeps City in sixth place but their 23 points with only 14 games puts them in a position to soar up the table rather quickly. They are only one point back of the Red Bulls and five of the Philadelphia Union with two games in-hand. Considering they have only suffered defeat once in 2019, it can be expected that they will compete for the top of the Eastern Conference before the end of June.