Gallery: Exclusive photos from Seattle Sounders’ 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt

Seattle Sounders drew 1-1 with Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday afternoon in an international friendly at CenturyLink Field.

With MLS currently on a two-week break due to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Saturday’s friendly gave the Sounders squad the chance to ensure they maintain their match fitness. They don’t play again now until their home clash with DC United on July 19.

Eintracht Frankfurt are currently preparing for the upcoming 2017/18 Bundesliga campaign. They won their first preseason outing 15-0 against SV Heftrich on Tuesday before flying to the USA.

Their clash with the Sounders was their first proper test of the summer. While they still have games against San Jose and Columbus to come before heading back to Germany.

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US International Timmy Chandler played for the visitors in Saturday’s draw. He sent the cross in that lead to Branimir Hrgota’s opening goal in the 29th minute.

But Frankfurt’s lead was short lived as Clint Dempsey kept his hot streak going by netting on the stroke of halftime. Nicolas Lodeiro picked up the assist.

Check out exclusive photos below from Saturday’s game between Seattle Sounders and Eintracht Frankfurt, courtesy of MLSGB photographer Paul Kahl.

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International Friendly Preview and Prediction: England vs France

Competition: International Friendly – England vs. France 

Venue: Wembley Stadium – Tuesday, November 17 – 20:00 GMT (15:00 ET)

Match Odds: England 6/4 – Draw 11/5 – France 15/8

Match Preview

England face Euro 2016 hosts France at Wembley on Tuesday night in a friendly game that will see the two nations stand together following Friday night’s tragic terror attacks in Paris.

Initially it seemed obvious that the game would be cancelled by the French Football Federation but they have decided to let the game go ahead. England and France will use the match to showcase the two nations’ solidarity following Friday’s events.

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England come into the game following their 2-0 defeat to Spain in Alicante on Friday evening. The result saw England lose for the first time since the 2014 World Cup, ending a run of 14 games unbeaten.

With Wayne Rooney and Jamie Vardy out through injury, Harry Kane is the only fit striker available to Roy Hodgson and there are worries the England squad looks too weak just months before the European Championships get underway.

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It will be interesting to see what the side will look like with Dele Alli and Eric Dier both awaiting their first start in an England shirt, and just how ‘experimental’ the starting XI will be on Tuesday evening.

France beat Germany 2-0 on Friday night in Paris as the tragic events in the French capital unfolded. The result of that game will mean little to French supporters but the game against England will go ahead.

However, Didier Deschamps’ side have now won five games in a row and will use the game with England to show solidarity. The European Championships in France are still set to go ahead and so the host nation will want to ensure they are in the best form possible.

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Key Points

England’s last five: W/W/W/W/L

France’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: England haven’t beaten France on home soil since 1992 and have failed to win in any of the last six meetings between the nations.

Key Player: Paul Pogba – Pogba is one of the world’s most complete midfielder and has been sensational since joining Juventus in 2012. It won’t be long until he’s one of, if not the best, players in world football. He’s a superb talent with unfathomable potential.

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Score Prediction

England 1-1 France – We’re hoping this game offers a chance for football to distract itself from the events in Paris on Friday night and hopefully both sides will be looking to get forward and score goals. We think a score draw is most likely.

International Preview and Prediction: USA vs Costa Rica

Competition: International Friendly – USA vs. Costa Rica

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Tuesday, October 13 – 23:30 BST (18:30 ET)

Match Odds: USA 4/5 – Draw 9/4 – Costa Rica 11/4 

Match Preview

Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT will want to quickly forget the heartbreaking loss on Saturday with a win when they host Costa Rica on Tuesday night in an international friendly.

The USMNT lost out on the chance of playing at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia with the loss to Mexico on Saturday as they went down 3-2 in extra time.

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That loss followed the the disappointing Gold Cup run on home soil in the summer in what will go down as a year to forget for the US national team. And they will not be too confident of turning things around instantly here, after only winning twice in their last eight against Costa Rica.

For those that remember, England were knocked out of the World Cup in 2014 at the expense of Costa Rica so the nation possesses a great team. However, they have also endured a difficult 2015.

Costa Rican have won just once this year, coming in a 1-0 win over Uruguay in September but they will see Tuesday’s game as a good chance to seal another victory over the USMNT.

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Key Points

USA’s last five: L/D/W/L/L

Costa Rica’s last five: D/L/L/W/L

Key Stat: The USA have never beaten Costa Rica in an international friendly (P3 – D1 – L2)

Key Player: Joel Campbell – Everyone that saw Costa Rica at the World Cup should know how much of a talent Campbell is and it still baffles many as to how Arsene Wenger leaves him on the bench all the time at Arsenal.

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Score Prediction

USA 2-1 Costa Rica – Hopefully this meeting will be more than just another game as both sides have a point to prove as CONCACAF rivals. Both have proved themselves as solid sides over the past few years and this will be a good test for both. This should be an advert for how good football has become in North and Central America and an entertaining affair is expected.

What should AFC Bournemouth expect in friendly against Philadelphia Union?

Premier League newcomers AFC Bournemouth play their first preseason game on Tuesday night as Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union will play host to the Cherries at PPL Park in what should be an intriguing game.

Bournemouth won the Championship with relative ease last season and so Eddie Howe‘s side fully deserve their place in the top flight of English football. But they know it will be a tough season and so their preseason preparations must be executed perfectly.

A trip to the United States to face the Union will improve team spirit and will help the new signings gel with their teammates before they play their first game together on Tuesday night in what will be a real test.

Preparation

The fact that Philadelphia are in the middle of their domestic campaign will help them as fitness levels will be at the perfect level, whereas Eddie Howe’s squad have not played a game for over two months.

Preseason is all about improving match fitness but the Cherries may suffer against physically more equipped opponents at this stage of their summer.

As well as fitness, Bournemouth will be looking for a positive result and there is no doubt that returning to England with a win will be the aim here.

Many Bournemouth fans, and perhaps players too will likely be surprised by the quality of play that the Union will be able to demonstrate. Major League Soccer has improved dramatically each year and teams are now in a position to give even the strongest Premier League sides a test.

Form

Philadelphia are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference and sit 16th in the overall MLS standings. It’s not been a perfect season by any stretch for Jim Curtin’s side but they haven’t lost in three and beat Portland Timbers 3-0 at home on Saturday night – a game the Bournemouth players watched from inside the owner’s box at PPL Park.

Five of their six wins this season have come at PPL Park and they are always better in front of their owns fans.

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Philly lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace in a friendly last July and will be looking to put in a better performance this time around against the Premier League newboys.

Over 15,000 fans turned out to watch the game against Palace last year and so another good atmosphere is to be expected for Tuesday night’s game.

Tactics

Jim Curtin will no doubt be prioritising Saturday night’s game against Toronto FC and so star players will not feature for more than 45 minutes on Tuesday. But a strong team is to be expected as Philadelphia will likely line up in their familiar 4-2-3-1 formation – a system Bournemouth will come up against numerous times in the Premier League this year.

Maurice Edu has made more starts than any other Philadelphia player this season and the versatile American will likely continue in defence for the visit of AFC Bournemouth.

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At the other end, CJ Sapong and Cristian Maidana will need to be watched closely. Sapong has five goals and two assists in his last nine games, while Maidana assisted all three goals in the win over Portland on Saturday.

Eddie Howe will likely opt to start with the 4-4-2 system that worked so well last term and new signings Sylvain Distin, Christian Atsu, Tyrone Mings and Joshua King will all expect to feature.

What do you think the score will be in Tuesday night’s friendly?

International Preview and Prediction: Germany vs USA

Competition: International Friendly – Germany vs. United States

Venue: RheinEnergieSTADION, Cologne – Wednesday, June 10 – 19:45 BST (14:45 ET)

Match Odds: Germany 4/11 – Draw 15/4 – USA 13/2

Match Preview

The US Men’s National Team face World Cup winners Germany on Wednesday night for the first time since they met in Brazil last summer.

Germany beat the USA 1-0 in the group stages on their way to World Cup victory a year ago but both sides come into this game looking ahead, rather than behind.

Die Mannschaft boss Joachim Low has had to change up his team after Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker and Miroslav Klose all retired after last summer’s success. Germany have only won four of their eight games since the World Cup and are behind Poland in their European Qualifying group.

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Wednesday’s friendly against the USMNT will give the Germans a good warm up before their qualifier against Gibraltar on Saturday.

But they could be in for a real test as Jurgen Klinsmann takes his USA side to his homeland for the first time in fine spirits after their 4-3 win over the Netherlands on Friday.

The USMNT rallied from 3-1 down to win the game in Amsterdam late on thanks to goals from Gyasi Zardes, John Brooks, Danny Williams and Bobby Wood.

The game in Cologne on Wednesday will be just as big a test, if not bigger, but that result has put USA fans in a great mood.

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In the 11 friendlies the USA have played since the World Cup they have only won four, but with back-to-back victories over Mexico and the Dutch coming into this, they shouldn’t be underestimated by the World champions.

It’s less than a month until the Gold Cup kicks off – a tournament the USA are co-hosting with Canada this summer, and with this being the penultimate friendly before that game, players will be desperate to prove why they need to be heading to the tournament with Klinsmann.

These two nations first met in 1993 and have faced off 10 times since. There has never been a draw, with Germany winning seven of the games between the two. The last USA win came two years ago in Washington as Klinsmann led the USMNT to a 4-3 victory.

Team News

Germany coach Joachim Low has left three World Cup winners out of his squad as Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller have been given the chance to rest. That doesn’t mean this will be easy for the USA though as stars such as Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Mario Gotze, Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil and Bastian Schweinsteiger are all included. Patrick Herrmann is expected to finally make his debut in midfield.

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Jurgen Klinsmann will not be able to call upon goalkeeper Nick Rimando as Cody Cropper has been called up as a replacement. Brad Guzan should keep his place in goal though, with the team likely to start in a 4-3-3 system once again. Brad Evans, Juan Agudelo and Miguel Ibarra are the only three players in the squad who didn’t see any minutes against the Netherlands so they will expect to feature.

Key Points

Germany’s last five: D/WW/D/W

USA’s last five: W/L/D/W/W

Key Stat: There have been 20 goals in the last five games between these two sides – an average of four per game.

Key Player: Michael Bradley – Since being appointed as captain, Bradley has been in fine form. His drive and leadership will be needed if the USMNT are to win this one.

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Score Prediction

Germany 2-2 USA – Expecting goals in this one between two sides that like to attack. Germany’s squad is not at its best and with the USA in fine spirits, it’s tough to separate the sides on paper. An entertaining draw looks to be on the cards.

International Preview and Prediction: Netherlands vs USA

Competition: International Friendly – Netherlands vs. USMNT

Venue: Amsterdam Arena, Netherlands – Friday, June 5 – 14:30 ET (19:30 BST)

Match Odds: Netherlands 8/15 – Draw 11/4 – USA 9/2

Match Preview

The US Men’s National Team take on European giants Netherlands on Friday in what will be a real challenge for the 2015 Gold Cup hosts as they continue their preparation for the this summer’s tournament.

Jurgen Klinsmann arranged friendlies with the Netherlands and then Germany five days later as his USA team will be really tested over the next week.

They won their last outing 2-0 against Mexico back in April in what was just their second victory in nine games and so matches against Guus Hiddink’s side and the World Cup winners will give a real indication of where the team are right now.

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The Netherlands beat Spain 2-0 in their last game in their second victory against the European Champions in nine months, and they are now unbeaten in three.

After reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup last summer, the Netherlands lost four of their next five but seem to have found some consistency again and will expect to beat the USA on Friday.

This will be just the fifth meeting between the two sides. The USMNT have lost all four of the previous games, scoring their only goal against the Oranje in their last meeting in 2010 in a 2-1 loss at Amsterdam Arena.

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Team News

Netherlands head coach Guus Hiddink has a strong team at his disposal and the likes of Robin Van Persie, Daley Blind, Memphis Depay, Wesley Sneijder and Klaas Jan Huntelaar will all expect to feature. Wolfsburg striker Bas Dost has been cut because of a hamstring injury.

Jurgen Klinsmann has a relatively strong USA team for the game. Jermaine Jones had to pull out because of injury, while Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Bedoya are also ruled out. Clint Dempsey will not travel as he awaits the birth of his fourth child. Brad Guzan should return in goal with Kyle Beckerman back in midfield. Eight MLS players have been included.

Key Points

Netherlands’ last five: L/L/W/D/W

USMNT’s last five: L/W/L/D/W

Key Stat: The USA have never beaten the Netherlands in four previous meetings, losing all four games and scoring just once.

Key Player: Memphis Depay – The Dutch winger will be desperate to impress ahead of his Manchester United move and will be a real threat down the wing.

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Score Prediction

Netherlands 2-1 USA – It’s tough to see the USMNT winning their first game against the Netherlands here but they should put up a good fight in what will be a real test for Klinsmann’s men.

Manchester City wonder goal sinks impressive Toronto in friendly

The Premier League and Major League Soccer came together for a friendly game on Wednesday night as Manchester City travelled to BMO Field to take on Toronto FC.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini fielded a strong team just three days after the Premier League season ended on Sunday, with Yaya Toure, David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Edin Dzeko and Wilfried Bony all starting.

Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta also came on to play a part in the second-half but it was young George Evans who won the game with his late screamer sealing a 1-0 win for the Citizens.

Toronto put in a fine display and will perhaps feel unlucky to have lost the game but Greg Vanney was pleased to come through the game without any injuries ahead of Saturday’s clash with San Jose Earthquakes.

“I thought it was a good match,” Vanney said after the game. “We got out of it healthy and we kept everybody to the amount of minutes we wanted to keep them to. I thought we had a good showing for ourselves. That was key.”

Sebastian Giovinco only played 30 minutes and Michael Bradley played for the whole of the first-half but it was some of Toronto’s youngsters that impressed as the likes of Jonathan Osorio, Jordan Hamilton, Manny Aparicio, Chris Mannella and Jay Chapman all put in fine performances against the Premier League giants.

Manuel Pellegrini was full of praise for the Reds after the game and also spoke about the level of MLS.

“Well, we came here last summer, and we always see New York City FC, so we know about the level of MLS,” he said. “Toronto is a good team. Of course, maybe they were thinking more about the game they had to play on the weekend but they have good players and also, a very good team.”

Toronto face San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at BMO Field and will hope to record back-to-back home wins after last weekend’s victory over the Portland Timbers.

International Preview and Prediction: USA vs Mexico

Competition: International friendly – United States vs. Mexico

Venue: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas – Wednesday, April 15 – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)

Match Odds: USA 13/10 – Draw 11/5 – Mexico 7/4

Match Preview

The US Men’s National Team are back in action on Wednesday night after just two weeks as they take on fierce rivals Mexico less than 150 miles from the border in San Antonio, Texas.

Jurgen Klinsmann‘s side put in their best performance for a long time in their last game against Switzerland two weeks ago as they earned a solid 1-1 draw against the 12th-ranked side.

The latest FIFA rankings saw the USA move up five places to 27th, while Mexico went up three places to 18th and Wednesday’s nights game should be another fiery one, even though it will be played outside of a designated international window.

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That means that both sides will be without several key players as the majority of European-based stars will not make the trip across to play the game.

Mexico have not beaten the USA in their last five meetings but they have been in fine form since the World Cup, winning six of eight games and have won their last two games 1-0.

The USMNT have only won two of nine games since the World Cup last summer and although things weren’t looking too promising, the 1-1 draw with Switzerland last time out will fill fans with optimism heading into this one.

Klinsmann continues to experiment with his squad and has called up 14 MLS players for this one, with DeAndre Yedlin and Julian Green the only players travelling over from Europe with Tottenham and Hamburg respectively.

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Four members of the squad play their football in Liga MX and that will add some more spice to what should be another thrilling encounter.

Their latest meeting ended 2-2 in Arizona last April as Michael Bradley and Chris Wondolowski both netted the goals.

The two USMNT veterans are both in the squad again this time and will hope to continue to guide the younger players through.

Team News

Klinsmann has only called up nine players from last summer’s World Cup as he continues to experiment, but he will likely field his strongest lineup as victory in this one is important. Michael Bradley played in the No. 10 role against Switzerland and could continue there, while Gyasi Zardes could partner Juan Agudelo in attack as Jozy Altidore is suspended. Agudelo has received his first call up in over a year and will want to make his mark.

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Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera has called up a relatively inexperienced side for the game but striker, Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres will hope to impress. The 22-year-old forward will join up with the Houston Dynamo in the summer and he will be pushing for a start in the absence of Javier Hernandez.

Key Points

USA’s last five: L/L/W/L/D

Mexico’s last five: W/W/L/W/W

Key Stat: Mexico have not beaten the USA in five attempts and their last win came during the Gold Cup in June 2011.

Key Player: Michael Bradley – The Toronto FC midfielder is the most experienced on the USA roster and is likely to captain the team once again. He has four goals against Mexico to date and will want to add to that.

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Score Prediction

USA 2-1 Mexico – If the USMNT can build on their performance against Switzerland they will be in a strong position to win this. Their recent record against Mexico is good and with the game on home turf, Klinsmann will hope to seal an important win as the Gold Cup draws closer.

International Friendly Preview and Prediction: Italy vs England

Competition: International Friendly – Italy vs. England

Venue: Juventus Stadium, Italy – Tuesday, March 31 – 19:45 BST

Match Odds: Italy 6/5 – Draw 23/10 – England 23/10

Match Preview

England face Italy in Turin on Tuesday night in what is a blockbuster friendly to cap off the international break for the Three Lions.

These two nations have established quite a rivalry over the years. This is a fixture that saw David Beckham captain England for the first time and also saw Paul Ince wear a bloodied head bandage in that famous 0-0 draw in Rome that clinched qualification for the World Cup in 1998 for England.

It’s a fixture that has seen the nations meet four times in major competitions, including last summer’s World Cup as the Italians sealed a 2-1 victory against England in both sides’ opening games.

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But it was a disappointing summer in Brazil for both teams as they crashed out of the World Cup in the group stage behind Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D.

Italy are coming into Tuesday’s game off the back of a 2-2 draw away in Bulgaria on Saturday in their European qualifier, keeping up their impressive record of going unbeaten through their last 45 qualifying fixtures, dating back to 2006.

Debutant Eder scored a late equaliser in Saturday’s draw in Sofia and the Azzurri are now two points off top spot in Group H, behind leaders Croatia who they play next in Zagreb on June 12th.

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Italy’s preparation for the match has been hampered by reported death threats towards manager Antonio Conte. They came after midfielder Claudio Marchisio picked up an injury in training which was said to rule him out for months but that has now been confirmed as weeks. Another blow for Italy is that Gianluigi Buffon missed the Bulgaria match with flu and is a doubt to face England.

For Roy Hodgson, everything is looking fantastic in the Euro 2016 qualifiers after another win left them on 15 points with 15 goals scored following their 4-0 demolition of Lithuania at Wembley on Friday night.

England’s very own debutant Harry Kane scored on his debut for the Three Lions and he could start for against Italy on Tuesday.

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England play Slovenia in their next qualifier on June 14th, and a win against the Italians will only keep boosting the confidence with the team hungry for future success.

England have seen some of their squad from the Lithuania match either head back to their clubs or pick up injuries that have ruled from out of the match against the Italians but the remaining members of the team will want to impress against one of Europe’s top sides.

Team News

Italy will definitely be without Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo, while doubts linger over Daniele De Rossi and Gianluigi Buffon. Southampton striker Graziano Pelle will be pushing to start in attack.

For England, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Leighton Baines and James Milner will miss the trip. Ryan Bertrand has been called up as a replacement for Leighton Baines. After his impressive goal on Friday, Tottenham’s Harry Kane will be hopeful of forcing his way into the England starting eleven alongside Wayne Rooney, who needs just two goals to match Bobby Charlton’s all-time England goalscoring record.

Key Points

Italy’s last five: W/W/D/W/D

England’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: In 25 matches between the two nations, there has only been three 0-0 matches so we should see goals in Turin.

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Key Player: Wayne Rooney – The England captain is just two goals away from Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record for England. He came agonisingly close to equalling it against Lithuania as he had multiple chances in front of goal. His confidence will be sky-high and he could cause the Italians problems.

Score Prediction

Italy 1-2 England – Without Pirlo pulling the strings for Italy, they lack so much creativity and that will be a huge boost for England. The Three Lions’ forceful attacking could lead to a goal or two and Hodgson will expect to see his side gain revenge for their 2-1 loss in Brazil last summer

New York City FC dealt first loss by Brondby in Manchester

New York City FC suffered their first defeat of preseason as they were beaten 2-0 by Danish club Brondby IF in Manchester earlier today.

The MLS expansion franchise had won both of their previous two games against Jacksonville Armada and St Mirren last Tuesday. The game against St Mirren was also played in Manchester but NYCFC now return to America to take part in the Carolina Challenge Cup.

Goals from Martin Ornskov and Ferhan Hasani in either half were enough for Brondby to seal the win as New York City lacked that killer instinct in the final third.

Mistakes cost NYCFC as Mix Diskerud was at fault for the first goal and poor defensive play allowed Hasani to slot in the second goal unchallenged.

David Villa in action for New York City FC against Brondby (via NYCFC.com)

David Villa in action for New York City FC against Brondby (via NYCFC.com)

But head coach Jason Kreis remained positive after the game despite suffering his first loss in charge of NYCFC.

“We would have loved to have a better performance in our back pocket going home, but in some ways we needed some negativity as well.

“It was going to be a difficult opponent for us, as we said. The majority of our problems came from ourselves. In the second half we made a really bad mental error to let da Silva drift all the way across the field for that goal.

“We know there is a lot of work to be done.”

New York City’s next game will be against fellow expansion side Orlando City in the Carolina Challenge Cup and they open the 2015 season against the same opponent.

The full game can be watched below via NYCFC on YouTube: