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NYCFC's 19-year-old Talles Magno giving thanks to God along journey to MLS Cup

With one swing of his foot Sunday afternoon, 19-year-old Talles Magno just about repaid every penny of the club-record $12 million NYCFC reportedly spent to bring him to New York in May.

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In the 88th minute of the Eastern Conference final, Magno darted to the middle of the box and stabbed home Gudmundur Thorarinsson’s cross to score the decisive goal in a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union. NYCFC advanced to MLS Cup for the first time and lifted the first trophy in club history with the win.

Magno entered the game in the 58th minute along with Thorarinsson and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, both of whom contributed an assist. Magno gave thanks for God on Instagram after the dramatic come-from-behind win.

“Too happy for this title, too happy for this goal, too happy for this moment, thank God very much, for all I’m living,” Magno wrote (translated).

 

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One of the most promising young talents in the world, Magno drew the attention of high-profile clubs across Europe while playing for Vasco da Gama in his native Brazil. He made his professional debut at 16 and played in 49 games in Brazil’s top league over two seasons.

In March, Goal.com named Magno one of the 50 best “wonderkids” in the sport based on his performances with Vasco da Gama and his role in helping Brazil win the U-17 World Cup in 2019.

The expected move to a big club in Europe never materialized and NYCFC was able to bring him to Major League Soccer during the beginning stages of the season. He made his MLS debut on May 29 and appeared in 15 regular-season games, starting five times.

Magno also took to Instagram after scoring his first goal for NYCFC in September, thanking God for “a special night.”

 

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His teammates have embraced him with open arms and are impressed with the way he has dealt with the challenges of moving to a different continent as a teenager.

“It’s not easy for an 18-year-old to move to a new country where he doesn’t really speak the language,” midfielder James Sands said after Sunday’s game. “I think it speaks a lot about his work rate and kind of his positive, resilient sort of attitude. If anybody deserved to score the winner, it was him.”

 

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Magno’s goal in the conference final was his third of the season. He has appeared in two of the team’s three playoff games so far and could very well be called on to make an impact in Saturday’s final as well.

NYCFC travels to Providence Park to face the Portland Timbers at 3 p.m. ET on ABC in a matchup of No. 4 seeds. The Timbers get to host the MLS Cup thanks to their superior record.

Portland is making its third trip to the final since 2015 while NYCFC had not even played in a conference final until Sunday. If NYCFC were to win, it would become the first team since 2016 to do so on the road.

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