3 things we learned from NYCFC's convincing win over D.C. United

  • NYCFC had a fantastic performance against D.C. United
  • The Pigeons won 2-0 to win their second in a row
  • Here are three things we learned from the match
Santiago Rodríguez of NYCFC
Santiago Rodríguez of NYCFC / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, New York City FC celebrated their stadium approval as they welcomed D.C. United to Citi Field.  It was a cool night in Queens, and fans hoped the Pigeons would warm the stadium up with a second win in a row.

At the same time, NYCFC fans would be watching Mounsef Bakrar very closely.  The striker has struggled to capitalize on his numerous offensive chances throughout the season, leading many to become impatient with the striker.  With Jovan Mijatović waiting in the wings, would the Algerian finally reward Nick Cushing’s faith in him?

Sadly, the answer is no, but the Queens team earned all three points.  They beat D.C. United in a convincing fashion, winning 2-0.

As always, there is so much that can be talked about.  Here are three things we learned from NYCFC’s convincing win.

3 things we learned from NYCFC’s second win in a row

1. Santiago Rodríguez marked his 100th appearance in style

Santiago Rodríguez made his 100th appearance for NYCFC, which is a brilliant accomplishment.  The Designated Player did it in style though, for not only was he his fantastic midfielder self, but he scored the opening goal in the 20th minute.

It started with Hannes Wolf stealing back possession, and then he passed the ball to Bakrar.  Immediately, the Algerian passed it back to the Austrian, who ran up the right side of the pitch.  With plenty of room, he made his way toward the box, picked out Rodríguez, and sent the ball on its way.  With one touch, NYCFC’s early MVP easily sent the ball past Alex Bono.

He also came close to scoring on a free kick, which was slightly too high.  He also earned the assist on the second goal. Nonetheless, his work on the ball in the attack was great as usual.  This team is lucky to have him during the rough times. He was a major factor in Saturday's win.

2. Mounsef Bakrar just has bad luck

Bakrar’s goal-scoring struggles continued after he was substituted off in the 77th minute.  This resulted in the ongoing criticism of the striker, which he does deserve.  He is supposed to score goals and the number of missed opportunities increases game in and game out.

At this rate, he just has had some bad luck.  There were a few times against D.C. where he should have scored, including his best chance during the 75th minute.  Wolf sent the perfect pass right to him, and the ball should, at the minimum, have gone on target with just the goalkeeper in front of him.  Instead, the Algerian shot the ball way wide of the goal.

The sad thing is that Bakrar is doing everything right.  He constantly attacks, helps out when possession is lost, and does not wait for the passes to go to him.  He fights for every touch and every shot.  With the first goal, he would have gotten an assist if this was hockey.  It is sad to see him struggling, and it would be easier to wish him gone if he was playing poorly. 

The goals have to be there.  The question is how much longer will Cushing give him in the Starting XI?  Maybe, it would be good for him to take the pressure off to score as a starter.  He needs time to unlock his scoring boots.  That is not to say fans should give up on him just yet.  They saw a glimpse of what he could do last year.  Sometimes, bad droughts happen.  The good news is that he can always return and go on a scoring frenzy.

3. The 24/7 kit is the winning kit

So far this season, NYCFC has only won in the 24/7 kit.  Truthfully, it is a beautiful kit and looks great on the players.  It is common for athletes to have their superstitions, and this might cause some of them to think they should wear the black jersey as much as possible.

Of course, it is just a coincidence.  Yet, it is interesting they have worn the secondary kit for all three wins.  Hence, it is okay to call it the winning kit for now.  They will win in the primary one eventually.