3 things we learned from NYCFC’s important win over the New England Revolution

  • NYCFC and the New England Revolution played one another as teams who needed to win
  • The Pigeons were able to come out on top in the 2-0 win
  • Here are three things that we learned from the game
NYCFC / Lucas Boland-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC headed into Saturday’s game in 13th place in the Eastern Conference.  They welcomed the New England Revolution, who was in 15th place and surprisingly struggling in league play.  Nonetheless, the Pigeons hoped to take advantage especially since the visitors have had a congested schedule.

This match was also a must-win for NYCFC.  They are in the middle of their five-game homestand, and the draw against Atlanta United FC last weekend was extremely disappointing.  The offensive effort has been there, but the finishing touch in the final third has been missing in action.  Hence, the players knew goals were a must against New England.

Luckily, the Pigeons got their goals.  NYCFC beat the Revolution 2-0 after goals from Agustín Ojeda and Julián Fernández.  It was a sloppy fixture at times, but the Bronx side finally won their second fixture of the season and earned all three points.

As always, there are so many things that can be discussed after a NYCFC game.  Here are three things we learned from the 2-0 win.

3 things we learned from NYCFC’s 2-0 win

1. Agustín Ojeda finally made the Starting XI and should start again

Finally, after weeks of waiting, Ojeda was given his chance in the NYCFC Starting XI.  The Argentine started as the left-winger and had a decent performance.  He had a good chance around the 18th minute when he ran toward the box.  However, he could not get the shot off in time as he overran himself.

It was in the 57th minute that Ojeda let everyone know that he is here.  The ball fell right to him after a block on a Hannes Wolf shot.  With one touch, he sent shot the ball with the intensity of a rocket and put it into the right side of the goal.  The golazo and the Argentine’s first in MLS capped off a great night for him.

Ojeda did look good on the wings as well, moving the ball up the pitch and making himself available in the box.  It was not the most amazing start, but it was great.  The Argentine illuminated his potential.  Truthfully, he needs more minutes to see what he can do for the team and so he can grow.  After this week, Nick Cushing must start him again in the next game.

2. Tayvon Gray and Mitja Ilenič should share the starts

In the match against Atlanta, Tayvon Gray earned the start and had one of his best games of the season.  This time around, Cushing gave Mitja Ilenič the start, which was a little shocking since Gray did so well, including with his offensive effort.

Yet, Ilenič is still the stronger attacking right-back while Gray is better defensively.  The Slovenian had some defensive mishaps on Saturday, allowing opposing players to get around him.  He still has the edge on his fellow right-back when it comes to going forward.

Since both players have their stronger attributes on the pitch, and since both deserve to start, Cushing should rotate the two of them based on who they are playing.  It should depend on whether more offensive or defensive help is needed.  When all is said and done, neither player has won the position outright.  However, it does appear the head coach prefers Ilenič at this time, for he has started more fixtures in 2024.

3. NYCFC needed the win but are not out of danger

Unquestionably, NYCFC needed the win and it was well-deserved.  The three points will hopefully put them down a path to win their next fixture in the homestand.  At the same time, this was a win against the last-place New England.  As such, the team is not out of danger yet.

The Pigeons must prove themselves over the next few games.  This was only the second win of the season, so they must perform well and score goals.  They also need to be seen against stronger opposition.  It is okay to celebrate the victory.  Is NYCFC on track to reverse their misfortunes?  Maybe ask at the end of April