Heber thanks the heavens after scoring in the 56th minute. (Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A tired Heber promises he will be better shape and know Major League Soccer better as time goes by.
As it was, the Brazilian striker did plenty of damage in his first start for New York City FC’s 2-0 victory over D.C. United at Audi Field Sunday, scoring one goal and setting up another.
Yet, he was far from satisfied with his performance that helped City win its first game of the MLS season.
“This is my first game this year so I feel tired,” he said. “I need to learn [the league]. Tactically, it’s different. I need a few more games to be in good shape and be [the player] they saw in Croatia.”
All things considered, he did all right for someone who did’t know the league.
“I am sure we signed the right player,” head coach Dome Torrent said. “If you want to play him in the spaces, it’s good news for New York City. I am very happy for him because he’s a good player and he’s a good guy.”
With City nursing a one-goal advantage in the 56th minute, Heber gave the visitors some breathing room by firing home
an angled shot from seven yards on the left side past goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
“It’s important to be confident because always the chances come,” Heber said. “When the chances come you need to be ready to score.”
The key to Heber’s game, said left back Anton Tinnerholm, was possession.
“It’s important that he’s able to keep the ball upfront and it’s important for the team when we’re on the pressure and he keeps the ball moving forward,” he added. “Of course, it’s important for him that he scores but if you look at the 90 minutes he played like 60 minutes. But he did a real solid performance.”