Andrea Pirlo had his second-half free kick saved by goalkeeper Zach MacMath. (Casey Sapio/USA Today Sports)

TUCSON, Ariz. — New York City FC dropped a 1-0 decision to the Colorado Rapids in the Desert Diamond Cup on Wednesday night.

Rapids captain Sam Cronin scored the only goal of the preseason encounter on the final touch of the first half. Cronin volleyed the ball into the bottom corner from just inside the penalty area.

The opening 20 minutes were rather uneventful in as the two teams failed to solve each other’s’ defenses.

Colorado striker Kevin Doyle came close in the 21st minute as his shot deflected off a player and hit the outside of the post.

Some 14 minutes later, Dominique Badji came close as his shot traveled over the crossbar.

In the 40th minute, Tommy McNamara, who captained the team in the absence of David Villa (red-card suspension) forced goalkeeper Zac MacMath to make his first save.

Panamanian international Miguel Camargo made his City debut, entering the game in the 55th-minute for Jalen Brown.

NYC FC had a handful of opportunities, which included an Andrea Pirlo free kick that MacMath saved and Sean Okoli’s shot that sailed well over the bar.

The Blues will play their final preseason match at the cup against Sporting Kansas City before they kick off their third Major League Soccer season at Orlando City SC March 5.


Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at