• Tuesday May 09, 2017

    Costa Rica int’l Wallace proves valuable for NYCFC

    Costa Rica international Rodney Wallace (right) in action for New York City FC against visiting Atlanta United on May 7, 2017, in the Bronx, New York. (Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

    NEW YORK -- When Rodney Wallace joined New York City FC earlier this year, head coach Patrick Vieira knew he added a physical player, who could play all three positions on the left side.

    He has also discovered that the 28-year-old Costa Rica international's mental toughness is second to none.

    Just look what transpired in NYCFC's 3-1 home win over Atlanta United in Major League Soccer on Sunday. During a remarkable six-second span in the opening minute of the second half, Wallace, had three shots cleared off the goal line.

    “You just let it go, use it as a fuel and move forward and try to get another one,” said Wallace.

    Which is exactly what Wallace did. He bounced back to score the go-ahead goal in the 60th minute – his third of the year -- and set up another one minute later.

    "There's a reason why we brought him to our football club," Vieira remarked. "His work ethic is fantastic. He's putting the team before himself. He's doing the dirty work for the team, and he's getting rewarded with the goal. He's worked really hard.

    "He showed how tough he is and how strong he is in his mind because he covered a lot of ground and he's always at the right place to score goals or help the team.”

    With this kind of form, Wallace could be in the reckoning for a spot on the Costa Rica roster for next month’s World Cup qualifiers and/or July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

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