New York City FC stage home opener at Yankee Stadium
By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City FC celebrated their Big Apple opening in style at Yankee Stadium with captain David Villa scoring and taking an emotional curtain call in their Major League Soccer home debut on Sunday.
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio presented a plaque proclaiming March 15th NYCFC Day and Villa proved it to the delight of 43,000 fans in the chill of the Bronx in a 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution.
Villa cut inside from the left touchline, played a quick one-two with Ned Grabavoy, burst into the penalty area and confidently slotted the ball past New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to put NYCFC in the lead in the 19th minute.
The Spanish striker blew kisses to a roaring crowd wearing the sky blue club colors and was mobbed by his team mates after the first home goal by the new MLS team.
Villa helped ice the win with a cross to Patrick Mullins, who scored in the 84th minute.
A flurry of other chances failed in windy, chilly conditions in a 70-by-110 yard field squeezed into the confines of the baseball shrine.
New England's Kelyn Rowe missed three good chances in the first half, and Juan Agudelo's header from point blank range was stopped in the 42nd minute for the Revolution, last year's MLS title runners-up.
The pitch, which covered most of the diamond with newly laid sod, did not produce bad footing as feared after being uncovered following a frigid, snow-covered winter. Continued...