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NYCFC Fall To St. Louis City In Missouri

New York City FC suffered a defeat on the road against St. Louis CITY SC on Saturday night. Goals from Célio Pompeu in the 35th minute and Samuel Adeniran in the 72nd minute handed the hosts a two-goal advantage. New York City FC were reduced to ten men in the 83rd minute after James Sands received a straight red card. 

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James Sands receives a straight red card. Photo by Jeff Le - USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis City 2 NYCFC 0

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New York City FC headed west to St. Louis for their first visit to CITYPARK and their second consecutive road game to kick off the 2024 MLS campaign. The Boys in Blue were eager to record a win after suffering a narrow defeat in their season opener against Charlotte FC last time out.  

Head Coach Nick Cushing made one change to the team that started in North Carolina seven days ago, with Andrés Perea replacing Julián Fernández to give New York City FC a midfield three.  

St. Louis were themselves looking for three points after failing to do so last time out – a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake was the outcome of week one for Bradley Carnell’s side.  

First Half

The hosts registered the first real chance of the game when Célio Pompeu got his head up in a central position and fired off a shot that struck the post in the 7th minute. At the other end, a quick combination between Perea and Santiago Rodríguez allowed the latter to get a shot away that deflected behind for a corner.

City grew into the game as the half-hour mark approached, and a flowing move down the eventually found Keaton Parks in space. He curled a pass out wide right to Mounsef Bakrar, and although he was able to get a shot off it was unfortunately blocked.  

Despite that momentum, St. Louis would take the lead in the 35th minute after Pompeu collected the ball in the final third and fired a low shot past Matt Freese. New York City FC was quick to seek a response, and they came close in the 42nd minute after a brilliant knockdown by Kevin O’Toole found Hannes Wolf in the six-yard box. 

The Austrian midfielder did his best to poke it toward goal, but Roman Bürki did well to smother the opportunity. 

Santiago Rodriguez in action. Photo by Jeff Le - USA TODAY Sports

Second Half

The second half brought no changes for New York City FC as they sought a route back into the contest. That effort saw some early promise when Mitja Ilenič whipped in a cross with his left that found O’Toole at the back post. He headed the ball toward the goal, but Bakrar could not connect with it. 

City saw several half chances on the break before the hour mark, but ultimately the final pass was missing. In the 65th minute, Cushing made his first change of the night as Wolf departed the match to be replaced by Fernández. 

St. Louis would add a second in the 72nd minute after Samuel Adeniran fired a powerful shot past Freese from a tight angle. That goal would be followed promptly by another New York City FC change as Agustín Ojeda checked in for Rodríguez to make his MLS debut. 

The Boys in Blue were determined to try and find a route back into the game, and that saw Perea and James Sands attempt efforts from distance – Sands coming closest with his shot skipping by the post. That attacking intent also presented itself with Cushing’s changes as Jovan Mijatović checked in for Parks in the 79th minute.

New York City FC would be reduced to ten men in the 83rd minute following a VAR review. Midfielder James Sands was shown a straight red card after he was adjudged to have fouled Chris Durkin off the ball. The game was now becoming increasingly stretched, making it harder for City to generate chances.  

Despite battling until the final whistle, they could not find a route back into the contest, and that confirmed a 2-0 victory for St. Louis CITY SC on Saturday night. 

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Next Game

New York City FC hosts the Portland Timbers in their home opener on Saturday, March 9, at 2pm ET at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx. Broadcast: Apple TV | Radio:

St. Louis defender Tomas Totland battles with Thiago Martins. Photo by Jeff Le - USA TODAY Sports
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