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Andrea Pirlo

New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson is unable to stop a free kick by Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco in the second half during a game at BMO Field. (Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports)
New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson is unable to stop a free kick by Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco in the second half during a game at BMO Field. (Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports)

Sebastian Giovinco scored twice and Toronto FC beat New York City FC 4-0 on Sunday to increase its overall MLS lead to five points.

Jozy Altidore and Raheem Edwards also scored to help Toronto improve to 12-3-7 overall and 8-0-3 at home.

Giovinco opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, after raising his hands in the air to call for the ball some 10 yards outside the penalty box. Marky Delgado obliged and Giovinco got the ball in space, sidestepping the approaching Andrea Pirlo as if he was rooted to the ground before curling a left-footed shot high into the goal past a diving Sean Johnson.

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New York City FC forward David Villa celebrates after scoring a goal during the first half against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park. (Troy Wayrynen/USA Today Sports Images)
New York City FC forward David Villa celebrates after scoring a goal during the first half against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park. (Troy Wayrynen/USA Today Sports Images)

Thomas McNamara scored in the 65th minute to give New York City FC a 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers on Sunday.

McNamara's 20-yard shot curled around goalkeeper Jake Gleeson and into the upper corner of the net for his third goal of the season.

NYCFC (4-3-4) took the lead in the 12th minute under controversial circumstances. Defender RJ Allen appeared to use his hands to knock the ball away from Darlington Nagbe, but no foul was called. Instead, Allen sent an inch-perfect 30-yard rolling pass into the path of David Villa, who calmly shot the ball past Gleeson for his eighth goal of the season.

Tags: Andrea Pirlo, David Villa, Portland Timbers, Tommy McNamara
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New York City FC midfielder Andrea Pirlo (21) looks on against the Columbus Crew SC in the first half at Mapfre Stadium. (Aaron Doster)
New York City FC midfielder Andrea Pirlo (21) looks on against the Columbus Crew SC in the first half at Mapfre Stadium. (Aaron Doster)

Andrea Pirlo didn't play the last time he was on a club that matched up with a team featuring Didier Drogba - back in the UEFA Champions League nearly three years ago.

Could history repeat itself in MLS this week?

Pirlo was surprisingly omitted from New York City FC's last contest and there's no guarantee he will see action Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium against Drogba and the Montreal Impact.

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New head coach Patrick Vieira during New York City FC press conference at Yankee Stadium (Noah K. Murray)
New head coach Patrick Vieira during New York City FC press conference at Yankee Stadium (Noah K. Murray)

NYCFC Head Coach Patrick Vieira spoke to the media on a conference call before the team's season begins on Sunday. Here's what he had to say…

  • He has no set goal for the season, but hopes the players and team play well and he'll see where that takes them.
  • He said the team had a strong preseason and the first game will be a great test of where they are as a team.
  • He has not decided on what lineup or formation he will use on Sunday. He said it will be hard for him to choose a starting 11 every game, especially because he has so much depth in the midfield.
  • He put a focus on the mental side of the game during the preseason, but stressed that "everything is important."
  • He said he has a very good relationship with Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo, which will help him decide when they will play and when they will sit.
  • He expects Jack Harrison to play this season, "much earlier than you think." Harrison, the first-overall pick in the MLS Draft, has been out since late January with a pelvic injury.
  • He believes the MLS is growing very well and will continue to see good growth in the league.
  • He said the salary cap is a major issue for the MLS, which hurts them as many players chase money to other leagues around the world, specifically China.

NYCFC takes on the Chicago Fire at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 6.

Tags: Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, Andrew Vazzano