Frank Lampard made his long-awaited debut for New York City, but could not prevent the Major League Soccer side from slipping to a 3-2 home defeat by Montreal Impact.
A calf injury prevented the ex-Chelsea midfielder from making his bow two weeks ago, but he finally appeared when he came on in the 69th minute.
Lampard, 37, joined another big-name signing, Andrea Pirlo, in midfield.
Team-mate and ex-Barcelona striker David Villa scored the New York opener.
New York-born winger Thomas McNamara grabbed the other goal for the club, whose majority owners are Manchester City.
Ghanaian forward Dominic Oduro gave Montreal the early lead before Argentine Ignacio Piatti doubled the advantage.
Villa reduced the deficit from the spot, before Piatti scored his second, and seventh of the season, also with a penalty in the 84th minute.
McNamara scored New York's second moments later, but the hosts could not force an equaliser.
The former Blues and Manchester City midfielder signed for New York last summer, before he was loaned back to English parent club City, for what turned out to be a season-long deal.
He is one of three Designated Players - an MLS club can sign up to three whose wages exceed the salary cap - alongside Villa and Pirlo.
An injury delayed his debut, but he made the bench for Saturday's home MLS match in front of more than 27,000 spectators inside baseball's Yankee Stadium.
His side were 2-1 down when he came on with 21 minutes remaining; following Montreal and fellow former West Ham midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker onto the pitch.
Lampard slotted into the centre of New York's midfield alongside Pirlo - a combined age of 73 years.
The former England captain switched between playing deep and further forward with his Italian colleague, but did not manage to get into that familiar position of arriving late in the area to get on the end of a cross.
New York have now lost 10 of their 22 games and are seventh in the Eastern Conference, with only six teams set to play in the latter stages of the competition.
New York City FC
- 2HernandezBooked at 53mins
- 23MenaBooked at 43mins
- 4JacobsonSubstituted forLampardat 69'minutes
- 11GrabavoySubstituted forPokuat 59'minutes
- 30CalleBooked at 22minsSubstituted forDiskerudat 59'minutes
- 2Oyongo Bitolo
- 16MallaceSubstituted forReo-Cokerat 69'minutes
- 33DonadelBooked at 45mins
- 15RomeroBooked at 75minsSubstituted forTissotat 86'minutes
- 5DukaSubstituted forAlexanderat 79'minutes
- Jose Carlos Rivero
- Shots on Target