A subpar first half starred in Yankee Stadium. But ten minutes into the second stanza, Mounsef Bakrar put the Pigeons ahead with his second goal of the season. However, this was extinguished five minutes later when Vancouver's Ryan Gauld scored from the penalty spot after a controversial call.
After an action-packed five minutes, the game fizzled out. It came back to life perhaps too late as both teams serged towards the end of stoppage time. In the end, NYCFC shot ten of their 16 shots off the frame. Three more were blocked. On the other hand, Vancouver had two of six shots on target. The Pigeons once again controlled most of the possession (64.3%) but failed to get three points as they continuously push for playoff contention.
Nick Cushing had a lot to say after NYCFC's 1-1 draw
Head Coach Nick Cushing expressed his disappointment.
"We're below the line, so the pressure is high. The guys are disappointed because we wanna win. We've had too many games where we play well, push the game, show [a] fight, create chances, and have the ball, but we don't get the result. We have to continue to fight. The picture looks a little bit better with a point. Of course, we're disappointed that we didn't get the win. But either way, it's gonna be a fight till the end."- Nick Cushing
Cushing also addressed a tweet from former NYCFC player and captain Maxime Chanot on Thursday. After Wednesday's win over Montréal, Cushing mentioned how Chanot's departure has been hard for Birk Risa and Thiago Martins, stating that Chanot left the team at a difficult time.
The following morning, the center back reposted a clip of the statement on X, formerly Twitter. "Difficult moment which was created by..." Chanot captioned the repost. The post caused a buzz among speculative NYCFC fans, who took it as proof of friction between Cushing and Chanot. The head coach said he did not know about it.
"I'm not aware (of the post) because I don't have social media. I personally did not see anything. I've said before, the situation was between Maxime and the football club. It was a conversation between Maxime, David [Lee], and Brad [Simms] about Maxime's personal situation. I think it would be wrong of me to get involved in that [since] it didn't involve me."- Nick Cushing
Overseas, Chanot has started training with his new side, AC Ajaccio, in the French Ligue 2. Meanwhile, his former team sit 12th in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference with 30 points.
After the international break, NYCFC have six games to decide their fate. Four of these six games will be at home, starting with the Hudson River Derby on Saturday, September 16.
"We'll have to take some time to recover. Of course, we're gonna plan to win the game. Last year, we beat Red Bull here, but this year we've lost to them twice and have a desire to win the game. We always have a huge desire to win here at Yankee Stadium, especially against our rivals. We'll use the break to push really hard and work at making sure we give ourselves the best chance at getting three points in the next game."- Nick Cushing
New York City FC will need those three points. The remaining games will be crucial if there is a chance of making the playoffs.