RJ Allen celebrates Jonathan Lewis’ game-winning goal. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
BRONX — When you a rookie in Major League Soccer, you have to make the most of your opportunities.
That goes double when you’re playing an attacking position because most teams import players for those roles.
Which brings us to Jonathan Lewis, who has pulled off a rare double for any player, whether he is a grizzled veteran or a rookie.
Last week, the 20-year-old Lewis tallied his first MLS goal, the game-winner in New York City FC’s 2-0 victory over the LA Galaxy in Carson, Calif.
On Sunday night, the Plantation, Fla. native did himself one better, connecting for the dramatic winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time to boost City to a 2-1 comeback victory over the New England Revolution at Yankee Stadium.
“Of course, I feel more confident, but I feel like every day is the same,” Lewis said. “We’ve just got to all go in and push. Whether you’re at the top of the depth chart or at the bottom, you have to push. People who are at the bottom, we work hard. It helps the starters. Same thing where the people at the top work hard so that the people at the bottom have someone to look up to. So I feel like we all have to just work hard.”
NYCFC captain David Villa has been around the block and then some. He has seen many players come and go. What impresses the 2010 World Cup winner is the fact that Lewis “is a guy who is not afraid.”
“That’s very important because sometimes I see guys with a lot of qualities, a lot of power but they go to the pitch and are afraid,” he said. “It is normal, I was afraid when I was 18 years old and they put me in front of 20,000 people.
“He plays the same way he trains so that’s a good point for us. He is a great player but he needs to play games because he has only played five or six games.”
Lewis has played 247 minutes over three starts and seven matches. Yet, his production rate has been quite impressive — two goals and one assist.
That’s being a part of a goal every 83 minutes. That essentially is at a goal a game pace.
“It was a good feeling, but the most important thing is that we’ve got to win,” he said. “So, if it’s going to help the team win, then I’ll try to do it. But we’re winning and we’re in a good period right now, So I think definitely we’re going to catch Toronto soon. That’s our goal and we want to be the best team, so that’s our ultimate goal.”