Alex Ring (center) and his teammates celebrate his equalizing goal. (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)

ATLANTA — Say this for New York City FC:

The team does show a lot of resolve on the road.

For the third time this season, City rallied from a deficit to register at least point as it walked out of Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a 2-2 draw with Atlanta United FC Sunday night.

Alex Ring scored his first MLS goal to lift defeated NYCFC (5-0-2, 17) to the tie as it retained its four-point lead over Atlanta (4-1-1, 13), which had its four-game winning streak snapped.

Head coach Patrick Vieira was happy with the point because NYCFC played Wednesday night and had to travel here while the hosts were well rested.

“Playing a few days ago, coming here and taking a point, I’m really proud and happy with the team,” he said. “It wasn’t easy but they fought and they worked hard. It’s a really good and important point to take home to New York.”

Atlanta, on the other hand, was a disappointed bunch, allowing the lead to slip their their fingers not once, but twice.

“We knew all week it was going to be a difficult game, an open game,” said Chris McCann, who had given Atlanta a 2-1 lead in the second half. “It was end to end, two attacking sides. It was a good game. It was a pity we couldn’t hold on for the win.

“I thought the balance of play we had more of the ball. Disappointed coming away after leading 2-1.”

Three balls went into the back of the net in the opening half, but only two counted.

The hosts grabbed the lead in the 29th minute. Miguel Almiron drilled a shot from the penalty arc that goalkeeper Sean Johnson dove to his right to save. The rebound went to Greg Garza, who slipped it home to the near left post past a sprawled Johnson.

It did not take long for City to equalize. David Villa, who replaced the injured Ismael Tajouri-Shradi in the 35th minute, was given an opportunity to knot the score at 1-1 after Michael Parkhurst knocked down Jo Inge Berget in the penalty area. Villa did not disappoint as he fired a shot into the lower left corner past keeper Brad Guzan, who had guessed correctly.

It was Villa’s 399th goal of his illustrious career — for club and country.

Villa Goal @ Atlanta

David Villa scores from the penalty spot in Atlanta for career goal #399

Posted by New York City FC on Sunday, April 15, 2018

“David looked good when he came on,” Vieira said. “He just showed how he’s been working with us the last couple of weeks and he came through with no issues, so we’re happy.”

Atlanta thought it had grabbed a 2-1 lead on Darlington Nagbe’s 22-yard blast in the 41st minute, but it was nullified due to an offside call on Josef Martinez via video review. Martinez was standing in front of Johnson on the playoff.

At halftime, Vieira told FS1: “This is what we expected, a difficult game. We have to manage better when we have possession.”

Apparently, his team did not get the message because Atlanta refused to give up the ball for the opening 11 minutes of the second half. It certainly paid off as McCann headed home an Almiron left-wing cross from eight yards for a 2-1 edge in the 56th minute.

NYCFC, however, equalized again, this time in the 73rd minute. Villa did a marvelous job, holding the ball and looking for space before finding Ring. The defensive midfielder rifled a 25-yard shot off the woodwork and into the upper left side for a 2-2 deadlock and his first MLS goal.

“I had a couple of opportunites this season that was close,” Ring said. “It was nice I saved it for today.”

Ring Goal @ Atlanta

Alexander Ring equalizes from distance for his first NYC goal!

Posted by New York City FC on Sunday, April 15, 2018

Videos courtesy of the NYCFC Facebook Page



29’ – ATL– Greg Garza

38’ – NYC – David Villa (PK)

56’ – ATL – Chris McCann (Assisted by: Miguel Almiron)

73’ – NYC – Alex Ring (Assisted by: David Villa)


32’ – NYC– Alex Ring (YC– Unsporting Behavior)

55’ – NYC – Maxi Moralez (YC – Persistent Infringement)

70’ – ATL – Chris McCann (YC – Time Wasting)

80’ – NYC – Yangel Herrera (YC – Unsporting Behavior)

89’ – NYC – David Villa (YC – Unsporting Behavior)

93’ – ATL – Jeff Larentowicz (YC – Unsporting Behavior)


Atlanta United FC: Brad Guzan; Chris McCann, Michael Parkhurstt, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez; Jeff Larentowicz, Greg Garza, Kevin Kratz (70’ Ezequiel Barco), Darlington Nagbe, Julian. Gressel; Josef Martinez, Miguel Almiron

SUBS UNUSED: Alex Kann, Sal Zizzo, Miles Robinson, Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu, Romario Williams, Brandon Vazquez

New York City FC: Sean Johnson; Ben Sweat, Alex Callens, Maxime Chanot, Anton Tinnerholm; Yangel Herrera, Alexander Ring, Maxi Moralez; Jo Inge Berget (61’ Rodney Wallace), Jesus Medina (86’ Ronald Matarrita), Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (35’ David Villa)

SUBS UNUSED: Brad Stuver, Cedric Hountondji, Tommy McNamara, Ebenezer Ofori