Andrea Pirlo acquitted himself well in NYCFC’s loss at Vancouver. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
VANCOUVER — For the first time since May 17, Andrea Pirlo started a soccer match for New York City FC Wednesday night.
The former Italian international midfielder played 75 minutes for City in its 3-2 defeat to the Vancouver Whitecaps at B.C. Place and he acquitted himself well.
“I think Andrea had a really good game today,” head coach Patrick Vieira said. “I think when you look at the first half, the way he worked with Alex [Ring] and Yangel [Herrera], the way we build up, the vision that he had in the game, he opened up our game. Switching the game from one side to the other side, it was a really good performance from Andrea.”
Pirlo, who came on as a substitute in the 3-1 home win over Minnesota United June 29, was last in the Starting XI in a 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake in mid-May.
The 38-year-old midfielder’s corner kick set up Maxime Chanot’s equalizer in the 34th minute and almost lifted NYCFC into the lead with a shot that goalkeeper David Ousted saved in the 70th minute.
“Andrea was one of the best players in the world,” Chanot said. “With all his experience, every time he is on the pitch he gives us a very good ball, he gives us confidence when we need it and that’s what he did tonight. Despite the result, he played a good game.”
He was replaced by playmaking midfielder Maxi Moralez, who made his first appearance in a match since June 14 in the 75th minute. Moralez was injured in the 1-0 Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup loss to the Red Bulls.