Another road loss equals another defeat for NYCFC against Austin FC

  • NYCFC played Austin FC at Q2 Stadium 
  • The Boys in Blue lost a tough one  
  • Injuries become a problem yet again 
Jul 6, 2024; Austin, Texas, USA;  Austin FC fans distract New York City FC forward Santiago Rodriguez (10) during the second half at Q2 Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dustin Safranek-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 6, 2024; Austin, Texas, USA; Austin FC fans distract New York City FC forward Santiago Rodriguez (10) during the second half at Q2 Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dustin Safranek-USA TODAY Sports / Dustin Safranek-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC completed a stellar win at home against CF Montréal again and was riding a two-match winning streak following a poor month of June. However, concerns over injuries after losing Malachi Jones for the rest of the season, while Birk Risa and Maxi Moralez were kept home with injuries suffered midweek. If there is anything that NYCFC loves to do, it is to play with their backs against the wall, with nothing holding back this team from winning. 

They traveled to Austin for a showdown in the Texas capital under the green lights at Q2 Stadium. Therefore, the Boys in Blue had just one day to celebrate the Fourth of July as it was back to work. Also with less than halfway left in the season, NYCFC are set to play the rest of their matches away from home until the start of the Leagues Cup on July 28.  

This could be a make-or-break situation for NYCFC, who have not been the best team away from their home stadium. On Friday, the Pigeons were in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, with Austin FC only in 10th place in the West. What made this match more uncertain is that NYCFC had never faced Austin before, as they saw bright green kits for the first time in their history. 

The result was not the expected result, with Gyasi Zardes’ brace handing NYCFC another road loss. They also had to deal with a few more banged up players as the injury list may become bigger for the pigeons. 

Perea scored the lone goal in 2-1 loss to Austin FC

With Moralez out, Nick Cushing decided to add Andrés Perea to the lineup as he displayed a 4-3-3 formation, with Birk Risa replaced in the lineup for Strahinja Tanasijević. It started off well for NYCFC, with Tayvon Gray able to find Perea for the early 1-0 lead.  

Unfortunately, a few minutes later, Gray was forced off the field with an apparent injury, where he was replaced by Mitja Ilenič. Shortly after, Santiago Rodríguez suffered a cut to his forehead that required him to be bandaged up, but he was lucky enough to remain in the match.  

No surprise here that NYCFC got too comfortable being a goal up early, letting a goal to Zardes in the final minutes of the first half that made it 1-1 just before the first-half whistle. From there, it was a downhill battle, with the team not being able to connect on opportunities with a disconnect in both the midfield and the attack. An unfortunate sequence led to Zardes scoring another goal, leaving the game at 2-1.  

The biggest concern for NYCFC are the injuries, with a third player being added to the list. Gray had been the team’s best player in recent matches with three assists in the last three games while playing one in one of the best forms of his career. However, injuries were always a problem for the defender, though more information on his status should be available within the next few days.  

Moralez is also coming back from a major knee injury therefore it would not be a surprise if NYCFC took their time with his recovery. As for Risa, he had played in 20 matches and his injury could be due to an overload of work. Since Rodríguez continued to play with a bandage on his head, his injury should not cause worry, though it is something to keep an eye on. 

This loss drops NYCFC down to fifth place, one point from the New York Red Bulls after their recent draw. Their road trip will continue with a visit to Chi-Town next Saturday. Since Switzerland was just eliminated from the Euros by England, there could be a good chance that Xherdan Shaqiri could feature, though the odds are in the Pigeons' favor after being undefeated in the last five matches against the side.