NEW YORK (AP) _ David Villa had a goal and an assist to help New York City FC beat 10-man New England 2-0 on Sunday in its home debut at Yankee Stadium.
Villa and Ned Grabavoy connected on a give-and-go goal in the 19th minute. Villa took it up the left side of the field and touched it to Grabavoy, who fed it ahead. Villa split two defenders and chipped the ball inside the far post.
Villa, who has 59 goals for the Spain National Team, became the seventh Spaniard to score in MLS history.
Patrick Mullins, who played for the Revolution last season, made it 2-0 in the 84th minute for New York City FC (1-0-1). Villa used some nifty footwork to create space and sent a cross to an open Mullins at the far post.
New England’s best scoring chance came in the 41st minute. Diego Fagundez sent a long cross to Juan Agudelo inside the 6-yard box, but his point-blank header was blocked by goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
Jose Goncalves received a red card in the 66th minute after a takedown of Khiry Shelton just outside the penalty area. Shelton ran past the New England (0-2-0) defense to win a long ball from Saunders.
It was the second straight game NYC FC faced a 10-man squad after Orlando City SC’s Aurelien Collin received a red card in its season opener.
Villa’s ensuing free kick against New England sailed just over the crossbar.
In the 63rd minute, New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth denied Villa another goal. Mix Diskerud curled back a ball from the baseline and Villa volleyed it to the upper right corner but Shuttleworth stretched to get a right hand on it.
I’m very happy and obviously it wasn’t impossible to make this happen and play here,’’ said Villa through the translation of an ESPN broadcaster after the game. I’m very pleased with my team and their performance today. We have a little bit to work on.’’
Villa, the club’s first signee and captain, and Chris Wingert presented New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio with a jersey before the game. And Grammy-winner Ashanti sang the national anthem in front of the announced crowd of 43,507.
Elsewhere, Blas Perez scored a brace and FC Dallas topped Sporting Kansas City 3-1, while Alvar Saborio scored on a penalty kick in the 86th minute to salvage a 3-3 draw for Real Salt Lake with the Philadelphia Union to highlight week two of Major League Soccer on Saturday.Justin Meram and Kei Kamara scored to help Columbus beat short-handed Toronto FC 2-0.
Meanwhile, the Seattle Sounders will continue to call CenturyLink Field home through the 2028 season after agreeing to a 10-year lease extension.
The Sounders and First & Goal Inc., which oversees operations of the stadium, announced the new lease Monday. Seattle has led the league in attendance playing at the facility since entering Major League Soccer in 2009. The Sounders averaged 43,734 fans last season, good for 27th among all soccer clubs in the world, and has sold out 109 straight MLS matches.
There had been speculation the Sounders would consider looking for their own venue after a business partnership separation with the Seattle Seahawks last year. But Sounders majority owner Joe Roth says in a statement that the club is pleased to call CenturyLink our long-term home.’’
Vancouver 1, Chicago 0
Columbus 2, Toronto FC 0
FC Dallas 3, Sporting Kansas City 1
Real Salt Lake 3, Philadelphia 3
San Jose 3, Seattle 2
New York City FC 2, New England 0
Portland 2, Los Angeles 2
Friday, March 20
FC Dallas at Philadelphia