Philadelphia Sports Day

Saunders Shuts Out Seattle, NYC FC Gets Big Road Win

NFC FC goalie Josh Saunders - Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire

Josh Saunders notched his third shutout of the season, as New York City Football Club got a 2-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC Saturday at CenturyLink Field.

Frank Lampard scored his second goal in as many games  give NYC FC the lead in the 38th minute.

Lampard set himself in the box, turned and knocked down an RJ Allen cross off his chest, past Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei to make it 1-0 NYC FC.

Lampard had another chance on the hour mark when he received a square ball by Jack Harrison and turned at the top of the box before his deflected shot resulted in an NYCFC corner.

Ronald Matarrita scored his first MLS goal in the 87th minute to seal the win. Matarrita lofted a pass from Mikey Lopez past a helpless Frei, who came out to challenge David Villa following a Seattle turnover.

“I thought it [the performance] was great,” Saunders said of NYC FC’s performance. “I thought we came out possessing the ball really well. We played confident all the way through and made the most of our chance.”

With the win, NYC FC improved their record to 6 wins-6 draws-5 losses, with 24 points, second in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia is in first place with 26 points, and the Red Bulls are in third with 23 points.

NYC FC has four wins on the road this season, most in the MLS. They are now 3-0-0 in Cascadia – having earned victories at the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2015 and the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders in 2016

Saunders made 11 saves to earn the clean sheet. and he said of getting it in a tough environment on the road, “It always feels great – this was our third clean sheet on the year – so it’s always nice to get those. We’re looking to build off of this. You know, we had a good defensive performance, so it’s a great win away from home.”

Saunders was one of the few NYCFC players who has played at CenturyLink, and he said of that, “Yeah I think for a lot of guys it was just more me using my experience and telling them exactly what it was going to be like. You know, it’s always loud here and it’s a great environment to be in. If you’re not ready for this game, then you can’t get ready for any game.”

Seattle has one of the best crowds in MLS, and the attendance for this one was 47, 537.

“Obviously Seattle has one of the best crowds in the league,” Saunders said of how playing there compares to the rest of the league. “They have great fan support –  they cheered all the way through end of the game. They clapped for all their guys at the end, and it’s great [for Seattle] to have the fans behind them.”

 

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