Celio Pompeu stars as St. Louis City FC blank NYCFC


St. Louis City FC picked up its first victory of the season Saturday night, building off an opening week draw with a 2-0 win over visiting New York City FC.

Celio Pompeu scored the match’s opening goal in the 35th minute and assisted on the second goal as Samuel Adeniran scored in the 72nd minute to double the lead.

2023 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Roman Burki kept a clean sheet for St. Louis (1-0-1, 4 points), smothering NYCFC’s (0-2-0, 0 points) only chance, with the visitors mustering just a single shot on target.

After a cagey start to the match, Pompeu began to pull strings in midfield for the home side, as the 24-year-old Brazilian hopped on a loose ball in the NYCFC half before beating three defenders and striking from the top of the box to beat goalkeeper Matt Freese, taking a slim lead into halftime.

In the second half, Pompeu continued to make an impact, driving the ball down the left wing before sliding a through ball to Aderniran, who struck a powerful right-footed shot past Freese, giving him two goals in as many matches to start the season.

Pressing late to find a pair of goals, NYCFC midfielder James Sands collided with St. Louis’ Chris Durkin before putting his cleat studs into Durkin’s abdomen, prompting the referee to take a second look at VAR before awarding the visiting midfielder a red card in the 83rd minute.

St. Louis controlled the game from the opening goal but allowed NYCFC to develop its lone chance in the early stages, with Burki grabbing the ball off Hannes Wolf’s feet after the NYCFC attacker launched clear on goal from a Kevin O’Toole header.

NYCFC pressed late but failed to develop any scoring chances, finishing the night with the lone shot, as the club added a second loss to open its campaign after dropping a 1-0 result to Charlotte FC on the opening matchday.