NEW YORK // New York City FC crashed to a humiliating 7-0 defeat against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, equalling the record for the heaviest loss in Major League Soccer history.
City, an affiliate of English Premier League side Manchester City, have invested heavily in a squad featuring several veteran European stars including Andrea Pirlo, David Villa and Frank Lampard.
Pirlo and Villa, who last week, with Lampard, were revealed to be among the top 10 highest paid players in the league, were anonymous as the Red Bulls ran riot before City’s home fans at Yankee Stadium.
“The match in general was a disaster,” shell-shocked City manager Patrick Vieira said.
“I think we didn’t play at all. I’m really frustrated of course. Losing the game, and losing the way we did, against the Red Bulls is never easy,” the former France international said.
The Red Bulls seized the initiative after only three minutes with a goal from Dax McCarty.
Veteran English striker Bradley Wright-Phillips made it 2-0 three minutes before half time, heading home at close range after superb work on the left flank by Mike Grella.
Wright-Phillips then grabbed an opportunistic second in first-half stoppage time, scoring with an overhead kick from eight yards out after City failed to clear a Grella cross.
The second half continued in similar vein, McCarty making it 4-0 after 51 minutes, punishing slack marking in the City area to head home.
It got worse for City five minutes later when Alex Muyl blasted home from just inside the area after a deft layoff from Wright-Phillips.
Not even the introduction of former Chelsea and England midfielder Lampard from the City bench could stem the tide.
Gonzalo Veron headed in number six on 83 minutes before more poor marking allowed Gideon Baah to scramble home a seventh in the 89th minute.
The Red Bulls win equals the record for the biggest margin in MLS history. The Los Angeles Galaxy beat the Dallas Burn 8-1 in 1998 while Chicago Fire beat the Kansas City Wizards 7-0 in 2001.
Vieira said New York’s recent gruelling schedule – an away game last Sunday on the west coast against Portland followed by a midweek game in Toronto – had taken its toll.
“We have to bounce back from it,” Vieira said.
“The message I want to send to the players and to the fans is don’t forget what you’ve been doing. It will be really difficult to wake up tomorrow morning but we have to face our responsibility and analyse the game and see which part of the game we have to improve.”
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