Patrick Vieira: “The biggest takeaway so far is the way we played – we stuck to our philosophy and the passing was really good.”

New York City FC has only won once en route to a 1-1-1 record this young Major League Soccer season, but head coach Patrick Vieiera is much more impressed with the way his team has stuck with its game plan.

“The biggest takeaway so far is the way we played – we stuck to our philosophy and the passing was really good,” he said as City prepared to host the San Jose Earthquakes at Yankee Stadium Saturday at 2 p.m. “We stuck with the way we’ve been working from the very first day of preseason and we’ve been creating a lot of chances, not conceding very much.

“The balance was good between defending our goal and creating chances, so we have to keep doing it, working well and working hard.”

NYC FC (4 points), which hasn’t played since home draw with the Montreal Impact two weeks ago on March 18, will try to limit San Jose and U.S. international striker Chris Wondolowski. Wondo has tallied but once in three matches for San Jose (2-1-0, 6), but has scored in double figures in Major League Soccer for seven consecutive seasons. He found the net a dozen times in 2016.

“They have some individual talents, especially in the midfield and one of the top scorers in the league over the last few years up front,” Vieira said. “As a team, they’re strong.”

The Quakes defeated Montreal in their season opener, 1-0, on March 4 as Anibal Godoy, who leads the team with two goals, struck for the game-winner in the 17th minute.

“It’s going to be a really tough game, it will be very difficult for us,” Vieira said. “We’re going to play against a good team but I believe we’re in a really good period and we’re playing really good football, creating a lot of chances.

“It should be a really good game of football because they’re a team who like to play from the back and a team who are technically really good with some individual talents.”

Vieira had to be heartened by the fact that none of the six City players who went on international duty the past two weeks returned basically unscathed. That includes defenders Maxime Chanot and Ronald Matarrita, midfielders Kwame Awuah, Yangel Herrera and Alex Ring and forward Rodney Wallace represented their countries the last two weeks.

Midfielder Mikey Lopez was listed as questionable following his ankle surgery in the offseason. He participated in training this week.

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