Was it the turf field? What it the fact that the match was played in neutral territory? Was it Erik Johansen? Is it Patrick Vieira?
What was the sole reason behind New York City F.C.‘s traitorous performance against the New York Cosmos as the boys are blue are yet again kicked out of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
In a tight battle and a 0-0 deadlock, the Cosmos netted the game winner in the 88th minute after Danny Szetela sneaked through the NYCFC defense and headed the ball past Johansen. At that moment, nobody could believe it as it happened again.
Vieira and his boys had no time to recover and walked out of Jack Coffey field with their heads down and frankly–they deserved to.
NYCFC played the kind of soccer that the supporters or even general soccer fans don’t want to see. Mis-placed passes, playing around in the box and not taking enough shots.
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Vieira’s defense was shuffled around completely with Johansen making his season debut along Shannon Gomez who impressed and started at right back also making his season debut. On the left was Diego Martinez with Jefferson Mena and Ethan White in the middle. NYCFC’s defense was solid and held it together until the very end and once again got caught ball watching.
In the middle was Mikey Lopez, Mix Diskerud and Mehdi Ballouchy. Upfront was Patrick Mullins with Kwadwo Poku and Khiry Shelton on the wings. Poku and Ballouchy seemed to switch positions as Poku was found in the middle most of the time.
Which ever way he was going to line up his side, NYCFC should have advanced. When you dominate in possession with no goals to show for it, then there’s a problem.
With the 10 shots that NYCFC had, only four were on target. The Cosmos had eight with only three shots on target, but at least one of them went in.
I guess even changing head coaches wasn’t enough to see off the Cosmos as everybody knows last year’s story with Jason Kreis.
In the end, it’s just unacceptable by Vieira and the players. No one said to shift your focus on the cup, but when you’re on a four game winless skid, grabbing a win in general is always nice. It boosts morale and pumps you up for your next match.
NYCFC has two more chances to grab a win in the month of June with the first one coming on Saturday when they square off against the Philadelphia Union.
Like any other loss, it’s over, put it behind you and keep moving forward–while shaking your head.