Jesus Medina had a goal in his New York City FC debut to spark a 2-0 victory against host Sporting Kansas City in the season opener for both teams at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City on Sunday night.
Maximiliano Moralez also scored for NYCFC, which has opened the season on the road all four seasons of its existence and is 2-1-1.
NYCFC center back Maxime Chanot was given a red card in the 88th minute for fouling Gerso Fernandes just outside the box. Sean Johnson then made a two-handed save on the free kick by Felipe Gutierrez to preserve the shutout. Johnson had three saves in the game.
Chanot 10 minutes earlier was called for a penalty for his foul of Daniel Salloi, but the referee overturned his original call after video review. The referee also used video to issue the red card to Chanot.
Moralez opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, making a run down the middle of the box and poking in a weighted ball from the left side by David Villa. Moralez had five goals last season.
The goal came two minutes after SKC’s best chance came via two newcomers. Gutierrez slipped the ball past the defense, but a volley by Yohan Croizet was off target.
Medina, the 20-year old Paraguayan designated player, made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute. Left back Ben Sweat made a long run down the left channel and sent the ball into space where Medina outran three SKC players to take the pass and score on his second touch.
Kansas City was 10-1-6 at home last season, outscoring opponents 30-11.
Sporting K.C. next plays Saturday at the Chicago Fire. NYCFC opens its home schedule at Yankee Stadium on March 11 vs. the Los Angeles Galaxy.
—Field Level Media