New York City FC travelled 110 miles to their ‘home’ game against Houston Dynamo on Saturday, coming away with a 1-1 draw from the Pratt and Whitney Stadium, East Hartford, Connecticut.
The long journey from Yankee Stadium, was forced upon the team through a conflict of the stadium schedule, after a Yankees makeup game against the Kansas City Royals was rescheduled for Monday. The pitch requires 72 hours for a transition from soccer to baseball.
During their previous game in Colorado, NYCFC had the disadvantage of a long journey, playing in the Colorado altitude and also missing Alex Ring, Yangel Herrera and David Villa from the starting XI.
On the road again, Saturdays game was played in front of a diminished crowd, the actual number looking thinner than the announced 10,165, fans having had to make upto a seven-hour-round trip to support their team.
Spanish striker David Villa even pleaded with fans on Twitter to stay strong and united and to make the trip to cheer their side on.
“I know it is hard for everyone to travel over there, it’s hard for us as well,” he said.
“This club has done amazing things, but we wouldn’t of been able to it without your unconditional support.
“That is why I ask you that this Saturday you take a trip to Connecticut to cheer us on as you always do at the Yankee Stadium”
The game kicked off to a good start with NYCFC scoring in the 5th minute as Maxi Moralez picked up his fifth goal after nodding home a Jack Harrison cross.
Dynamo cancelled out that goal 10 minutes later as Mauro Manotas tallied his ninth goal after a quick restart just outside the top of the box, chipping the ball past New York keeper Sean Johnson.
The result moved Dynamo above the playoff line in the West, but for NYCFC it marked a missed opportunity to move closer to securing a top-two seed in the East.