Maxi Moralez (10) celebrates his goal against Inter Miami CF with Taty Castellanos (11),  Nicolas Acevedo (26) and Santiago Rodriguez (20). (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

If this was Taty Castellanos’ final game with New York City FC, he didn’t exactly go out with a bang.

At least not personally.

Team-wise, it was something else.

Castellanos did not score, although he recorded an assist in the Cityzens’ 2-0 victory over Inter Miami FC at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night.

The Argentine striker was given a proper send-off from the City faithful, receiving a standing ovation when Heber replaced him in the 61st minute. Heber gave his teammate a hug and then kissed Castellanos on his head.

Castellanos returned the kiss to Heber after the match.

Castellanos has been linked with Girona in Spain’s La Liga. Castellanos would remain in the City Football Group family with Manchester City as the English Premier League club reportedly would loan him to Girona for the 2022-23 campaign.

If this was his last game, Moralez will leave the club with a league-high 13 goals entering the weekend after securing the Golden Boot last season with 19 tallies as NYCFC captured its first MLS Cup.

The win helped NYCFC (12-4-5, 41 points) keep pace with the first-place Philadelphia Union (11-2-9, 42), which recorded a 1-0 result over Orlando City SC in the MLS Eastern Conference. Miami (25) fell to 7-10-4.


Team captain and goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who made several vital stops, registered his MLS-best 11th clean sheet of the season. It also was his career high after recording 11 shutouts in his second season with City in 2018. Johnson also has 87 MLS career shutouts.

Maxi Moralez scored a spectacular goal to lift City into the lead in the 12th minute. With the hosts putting much pressure on the Miami net, Castellanos passed to the veteran midfielder and Moralez took a jaunt through the left side of the penalty area, beating a sliding Ryan Sailor before nutmegging goalkeeper Drake Callendar from an acute angle for his first goal of the season.

Heber doubled the margin in the 75th minute, slipping home a Malte Amundsen left-wing cross into the net.

It’s not like Castellanos didn’t try. He was denied by Callendar in the 26th minute.

Castellanos put the ball into the Miami net in the 33rd minute after passes by Moralez and Malte Amundsen. The goal, however, did not count as the striker was ruled to be offside just by a smidgen.

In the 44th minute, Castellanos almost put one way, but his volley off a Moralez feed sailed wide left.

If there was a down note for the hosts, it was that midfielder Alfredo Morales incurred a yellow card in the 14th minute, which meant will he sit out next week’s game against Montreal with a suspension.