Jack Harrison and his NYC FC teammates celebrate his first-half goal. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
Front Row Soccer Editor
BRONX — Substitute Tommy McNamara connected for the tie-breaking goal to lift New York City FC to a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at Yankee Stadium on cold, gray Saturday afternoon.
McNamara, who replaced Andrea Pirlo in the 63th minute and who entered the match with all of 43 minutes under his belt this season, made his presence felt only four minutes later. He latched onto a ball from an overlapping Ronald Mataritta from the left side and slotted the ball home past goalkeeper David Bingham in the 67th minute for his first goal of the season.
The win lifted City (7 points) to 2-1-1 as it extended its regular-season home unbeaten to 11 games (9-0-2) dating back to last season, while the Earthquakes (6) fell to 2-2-0.
NYC FC played the final 10 minutes and four minutes of stoppage time with a man advantage after San Jose’s Victor Bernandez tripped McNamara and was awarded a red card by Jorge Gonzalez.
The Quakes drew first blood in the sixth minute, taking advantage of some shoddy defensive play by the hosts. Goalkeeper Sean Johnson’s clearance did not travel outside of the penalty area. NYC FC defender Alexander Callens, battling striker Chris Wondolowski for position, had the ball go off his knee to Marco Urena, who beat Johnson from five yards to the near right post for a 1-0 advantage and his first goal in a San Jose uniform.
It did not take long for City to equalize as Jack Harrison raced onto a nifty backheel pass from David Villa and drilled a shot that Bingham blocked with a two-handed save. The ball did not remain in play as it bounded off the right post and into the net for a 1-1 deadlock in the 10th minute.
McNamara, who replaced former Italian international midfielder and World Cup winner Andrea Pirlo in the 63rd minute, did not take look to make his presence felt as he slotted home a left-wing feed from Matarrita past Bingham at the far spot for his first goal of the season.
With San Jose looking for the equalizer, Johnson made a vital two-handed save on Nick Lima’s hard shot from the right side in the 74th minute.
6′: SJ – Marco Ureña (Unassisted)
10′: NYC – Jack Harrison (Assisted by David Villa and Ronald Matarrita)
67′: NYC – Thomas McNamara (Assisted by Ronald Matarrita and David Villa)
54′: NYC – Alexander Ring (Yellow Card)
59′: NYC – Rodney Wallace (Yellow Card)
80′: SJ – Victor Bernardez (Red Card)
New York City FC: Sean Johnson; Ronald Matarrita, Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot, Ethan White; Maxi Moralez (85′ Frederic Brillant), Andrea Pirlo (63′ Thomas McNamara (C 89′-90′)), Alexander Ring; Rodney Wallace, David Villa (C 1′-89′) (89′ Khiry Shelton), Jack Harrison
Substitutions not used: Eirik Johansen, Ben Sweat, John Stertzer, Yangel Herrera
Montreal Impact: David Bingham; Shaun Francis, Florian Jungwirth, Victor Bernardez (80′ Red Card), Nick Lima; Simon Dawkins (71′ Jahmir Hyka), Darwin Ceren, Fatai Alashe, Tommy Thompson (71′ Shea Salinas); Marco Ureña (58′ Danny Hoesen), Chris Wondolowski (C)
Substitutions not used: Andrew Tarbell, Andres Imperiale, Kofi Sarkodie, Anibal Godoy
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Assistant Referee: Jeff Hosking
Assistant Referee: Andrew Bigelow
Fourth Official: Alex Chilowicz