3 things we learned from NYCFC’s late win over Charlotte FC

  • NYCFC finally won their first game over Charlotte FC
  • Here are three things we learned from the match
NYCFC / Mark Smith-USA TODAY Sports

On a rainy Saturday evening, New Yor City FC. welcomed Charlotte FC in another Eastern Conference showdown in the boogie down Bronx. The fans were looking for another win after two stellar back-to-back performances against the New England Revolution and D.C. United.  

It was an interesting change to the lineup as Nick Cushing decided to bench Hannes Wolf for the first time this season. Both Agustín Ojeda and Julián Fernández got the call to start in the attack after both players had been in top form. Still, Wolf maintained good form in the midfield, creating chances and working well with the other players during his first season in the club, making this an intriguing change.  

Meanwhile, Mounsef Bakrar had another unlucky game, scoring a goal that was ruled offside and hitting the post while leaving the match scoreless. As for the team, they had the fans on their toes with a goal in stoppage time for their first-ever win over the Crown. 

Here are three things we learned from NYCFC’s epic 2-1 win on Saturday 

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

1. The boys in blue are (close to being) back 

NYCFC’s brilliant home run continues as they took a huge win over division rivals. They kept 57.9 percent of the possession with 18 shots (seven on target). Despite allowing an early goal to Charlotte, they made it up with a wonderful set piece by Fernández to Keaton Parks in the 41st minute. This did not stop the team from fighting, waiting until the third minute of extra time to get the game-winner with a goal from Alonso Martínez.  

That fight and confidence are back after having lost or drawn matches at the last minute, sucking the life out of the team. Santiago Rodríguez is the reason behind all this, covering so much ground while also being a leader on the field. Though it's not okay to say they are “completely back", they are close as another win today and a Philadelphia Union loss moves the Pigeons up in the Eastern Conference standings.

2. There is more depth on the bench than we think 

One of the biggest concerns entering the season was how the bench players would perform. Except for Tayvon Gray, Andrés Perea, and Andres Jasson, all of the bench players for NYCFC were brought on in the offseason. After just the first few matches of the season, it was clear that their bench was stronger than anyone thought.

When given a chance to play, Fernández and Ojeda have produced, with Martínez and even Malachi Jones coming in clutch. As for the defense, Perea has been great in subbing on for fresher legs in the defensive midfield, with Strahinja Tanasijević a good fill-in at center back when needed. Depth is extremely important for a team, and NYCFC looks to have that with the chemistry and form of several players improving as the season progresses. 

3. Seeing Thiago Martins walk off on his own was a sigh of relief 

The hearts of NYCFC fans, coaches, and players dropped after Thiago Martins fell after contact with a Charlotte player. It looked bad at first after the camera angle showed Martins looking to have lost consciousness as the medical team raced onto the pitch. The faces of the NYCFC players looked concerned. However once Martins was able to get up by his own power and walk off, it was a big sigh of relief.  

It appeared that Martins was hit in the chin following a play, knocking the wind out of him for a few moments. After the match, Nick Cushing confirmed that Martins was indeed okay, and was even dancing in the locker room. He has been the backbone of the backline this season, producing six interceptions with 57 recoveries and two clean sheets in 10 matches.