NEW YORK (Reuters) - The brand new New York City FC felt right at home in their Yankee Stadium debut on Sunday and were moved by the support they received from 43,000 fans at the iconic baseball ballpark.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the atmosphere the fans brought today. It was fantastic,” NYCFC coach Jason Kreis said after the new Major League Soccer team’s 2-0 win over the New England Revolution in their landmark first home game.
“It was a nervous moment for me to not know what the fans would be like here. To meet them for the very first time I couldn’t be more happy with the support we had.
“I would say it fulfilled my dreams.”
Captain David Villa scored the first goal of the match in the 19th minute and orchestrated the second with a perfect cross to Patrick Mullins in the 84th to clinch the victory.
“We have to thank the fans on a cold day like this to give us the support that they gave us,” the Spaniard said. “We’ll continue working hard so that every game they’ll be going home happy like today.”
Mullins, who played last season for New England, was a late substitution and paid a quick dividend.
“As the second half was going, I was warming up on sidelines. The chances were coming and the crowd was ready to be blowing the stadium up,” he said about the excitement that was building.
“I felt them on my back the whole game, pushing us forward. You can tell when the energy is right, and in this sacred stadium it was right.”
Midfielder Mix Diskerud was struck right away by the energy.
“It was incredible. When I got out there for the national anthem, sung really good by Ashanti, it was incredible,” he said. “I was watching the crowd and I felt we were feeding off them.”
Midfielder Ned Grabavoy, who assisted on Villa’s goal, said starting a relationship with the fans on Sunday was special.
“Everyone that’s a part of this club is new and coming from a different place,” he said. “Having that family support right away before we even played a first match is something that is very special to see.”
Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes