3 things we learned from NYCFC's 1-1 draw with Inter Miami

  • NYCFC finally earned a point on the road in 2024
  • The Pigeons drew 1-1 with Inter Miami CF
  • Here are three things we learned from the game

NYCFC / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday evening, New York City FC traveled to Florida to take on Inter Miami CF.  The two teams last met in a November friendly that saw the Pigeons win.  Since then, there have been changes within the teams. 

Entering the match, Miami had the better record, for they were 3-2-1 compared to NYCFC’s 1-4-0 record.  Plus, the Bronx side had Nick Cushing at the helm, whereas the head coach has lost the trust of most of the fan base.  The home team was without Lionel Messi, but questions remained about whether the visitors could grab any points.  If one remembers the friendly, it seemed possible.

Finally, for the first time in 2024, NYCFC earned a point on the road.  They drew 1-1 with Miami after sharing first-half goals.  It was a mixed performance as well, but somehow the Pigeons held on.

Of course, there is always much to discuss.  Here are three things we learned from NYCFC’s first draw of the season.

3 things we learned from the NYCFC draw with Miami

1. Alonso Martínez illuminated why he started

When the NYCFC Starting XI was released, there were some questions about the lineup.  One player who was an interesting decision was Alonso Martínez.  The forward has had a few appearances off the bench since his summer signing, but it was thought he was meant to be utilized more for depth.  Some would argue Julián Fernández would have been the better choice in the final third.

However, Martínez started up top as the right-winger.  The Costa Rican rewarded Nick Cushing and his team by scoring his first goal for the Pigeons.  A great pass from Keaton Parks gave him the ball, in which he ran into the box.  He had a tight angle, but he did not care.  Martínez took his chance and slotted the ball home.

That goal tied the match and eventually was why NYCFC left Florida with a point.  Martínez had three shots with one on target throughout the game.  He also had a few solid passes into the box.  This was a great match for the player; seeing him in the Starting XI next weekend would not be shocking.

2. Matt Freese continues to shine for NYCFC

Martínez might be why NYCFC earned their first draw, but it was Matt Freese who kept the team in the game… again.  The goalkeeper continues to be a bright light in a tough year, and the fixture in Miami was no different.

Freese limited the Herons’ striker, Luis Suárez, to just one goal.  The forward was extremely problematic for the Bronx side.  He had seven shots with five on target.  The visitor’s defense was not perfect on the night, but the former Philadelphia man prevented the Uruguayan from getting his brace.

His five saves on the night, his alertness throughout the game, and smart decision-making on when to leave his line might have earned Freese the Man of the Match.  NYCFC is very lucky to have him, for this could have been an ugly evening.

3. The first draw is actually a good thing

NYCFC is now 1-4-1 after six games played.  The record is not pretty, but it is a good thing that they earned their first point on the road.  They were able to compete with a talented Miami team and end the night with a draw.  Truthfully, if the road woes will continue, then at least they can earn some points via draws. 

Of course, that is not sustainable.  NYCFC needs to earn at least a few wins away from home in order to compete in Major League Soccer properly.  The draw at least is a step in the right direction.  It is not a guarantee they will not lose the next few road matches, but again, one point is better than none.

The draw can also boost the team’s confidence as they head into a five-game homestand.  Ideally, they will win all of the games, but at the very least, NYCFC should win most of them.  This can be a good time to improve the record.  After the poor start, going 3-0-2 at home would be a welcoming thought.