Manchester and New York join together for historic night
- 31 July 2014 11:19
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
Two Cities came together in New York on Wednesday night for a historic occasion at a full capacity Yankee Stadium.
49,653 New Yorkers were present at the first home of NYCFC, including two of the city’s newest inhabitants, Frank Lampard and David Villa.
Both players drank in their new surrounds and, for the first time, were able to get a sense of exactly what it will feel like when football hits the five boroughs in 2015.
Spain’s record goalscorer Villa took charge of the coin toss that preceded the game, while Lampard rubbed shoulders and posed for pictures with potential new fans in the stands.
This familial vibe was extended into the City dugout where NYCFC Head Coach Jason Kreis, for the first time, sat on the manager's bench, accompanying Manuel Pellegrini and his Assistant Ruben Cousillas Fuse.
In what could be seen as a trial run for the 2015 MLS season, Yankee Stadium became the first and only baseball park to host a match in the Guinness International Champions Cup tournament.
From the noise in the stadium throughout the night, it would have been obvious to David, to Frank and to Jason, what a special place they will be calling home will be when spring rolls around.
On the field, all present were treated to a sublime exhibition of football, delivered by two teams with a steadfast commitment to attacking play.
David Villa chats with Ferran Soriano, Manuel Pellegrini, Ruben Cousillas Fuse and Claudio Reyna.
Villa and Soriano continue the conversation while boom mics try to listen in.
Sporting Director Claudio Reyna talks to one of NYCFC's newest signings.
Jason Kreis has a look around his new home stadium.
The main event - the players shake hands before kick-off in front of a capacity Yankee Stadium.
Villa stands between the match officials and the captains before his coin-tossing duties, between Steven Gerrard and Aleksandar Kolarov.
City get together for a commemorative picture with kick-off looming.
Fans in NYC appear ready to have a team of their own in the five boroughs.
Stevan Jovetic celebrates his second goal with Aleksandar Kolarov.
Jason Kreis sits on the home bench for the very first time.
Although Pellegrini’s men eventually went down 3-1 on penalties following an entertaining 2-2 draw over 90 minutes, they could reflect on a positive performance in a match they had dominated possession in and monopolised the chance counter.
The excellent Stevan Jovetic put his side ahead twice but City were pegged back on both occasions by a pair of Liverpool equalisers supplied by England stars, Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling.
The team from Manchester had to wait until their fourth penalty kick to register in the shootout, meaning Lucas had the opportunity to win it with Liverpool’s fourth.
It was an opportunity he took to potentially put the Merseysiders on a collision course with Manchester United in the upcoming International Champions Cup final in Miami.
Although City had lost on spot-kicks, those present were left in no doubt that they had just witnessed something very special indeed.
And they say New Yorkers don't care about soccer.....please..... pic.twitter.com/SZSsRsSWsX— The Third Rail (@ThirdRailSC) July 30, 2014
The take home message from the night was clear: New York football fans are ready for a team of their own.