New York City FC has not been lucky. Not only has the team lost matches where they could have won, but goals have been lackluster. Yes, some fixtures saw poor play, but others, like the one against the New England Revolution, saw the team play extremely well. The difference was that no one could score.
The inability to score has been one of the larger issues at hand. Yes, there have been goals, but often a player manages just one. In some ways, it is a little surprising, for there are players who can score. Talles Magno should have more to his name, and the same goes for Santiago Rodríguez. Midfielders like Keaton Parks should be more of a threat too.
Understandably, the team is young. Growing pains were expected this year, and so were average performances. In fact, it was the main consensus that NYCFC would be under a rebuilding year, especially with the departures of multiple veterans.
However, it was not expected that the Pigeons would be in 13th place after 16 games. Maybe they would sit somewhere smack in the middle, but many thought the Bronx side could manage some more wins.
NYCFC saw bad luck and missing goals in the last two games
Realistically, using the last two fixtures for New York City FC, perhaps the team would have six more points. Many blame the result against FC Cincinnati on the referee, for if Gabriel Pereira’s called off goal would have stood, and the poor fouls were not called, then they could have easily been in a different position. With better refereeing, the match easily could have ended 2-1, or it could have been a draw. The Orange and Blue are the best team right now, so in all honesty, a draw could have been acceptable.
Then again, the Revolution fixture was just missing the goals. If NYCFC had a striker who was a killer at the net, then they likely would have had at least a goal, and could have won 1-0. And imagine if there was a true striker against Cincinnati as well.
Hence, let’s take a look at the table as if the Pigeons earned four or six points from their last two games. With four, the team would have 21 points compared to 17, and sit in ninth place due to goal differential. With six, the total turns to 23, but due to goal differential, the side would still sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. Of course, it would be difficult to tally the possible difference, but based on the other teams, it is unlikely NYCFC would be in a different place due to the previous matches.
As such, the bad luck that plagued the city boys over the last two fixtures, both due to refereeing and the lack of a goal-scoring striker, in part, really have made a difference in where the team is. More importantly, the Pigeons played well, and showed what they are capable of.
Eventually, the tables have to turn, and New York City FC will find a way. Times are rough right now, but these last two periods of 90 minutes each illuminated there is a way out of the tunnel. Now, the capable goal scorers just need to step up until a true number nine is signed over the summer.