A much-needed glimmer of hope came out of Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, August 30th. Amidst a losing battle to keep their post-season hopes alive and the departure of a club legend unfolding on Tuesday, there was a positive pulse in the Bronx.
New York City FC broke their five-game winless streak in MLS against the same team they had their last regular season win over. A 2-0 win over CF Montréal, the Pigeons' first since the beginning of July, could not have come at a better time.
The two goals came in a seven-minute window from faces old and new. Braian Cufré found Andres Jasson, who scored in the 30th minute. Not long after, new signings Birk Risa and Mounsef Barkar linked up to double the lead.
Nick Cushing remains cautious after NYCFC win
"I'm really happy with my first goal in MLS," Bakrar stated. "You can say it's the first of many. Hopefully, in the next game, we get three (more) points."
NYCFC had failed to score in their past three games (MLS and Leagues Cup) before Wednesday. They conceded one, two, and three against the New York Red Bulls, Minnesota United, and FC Cincinnati, respectively. Meanwhile, Montréal have won four of their last five games. The 13th team in the conference decisively beating the 8th is impressive. It is hard to believe a winner is on the brink of elimination when they overcome a side quite comfortable in contention.
Still, NYCFC head coach Nick Cushing aired on the side of caution.
"Enjoy it for ten more minutes," Cushing joked at the post-game presser.
"Back to work. I'm realistic and I don't want to get ahead of ourselves. I'm really proud of the guys. I thought there were some excellent individual performances and excellent partnerships that played really well tonight."- Nick Cushing
Cushing praised his new players' ability to adjust and perform in a short and rough period.
"Birk Risa showed why we brought him here. His partnership with Thiago Martins was excellent. It's been a difficult week for those two (with Maxime Chanot leaving NYCFC). Those two guys were [really] disappointed that Maxime decided to leave [us] in a difficult moment.- Nick Cushing
Mounsef is gonna score goals. [We] were disappointed when he missed his chances against Minnesota. But I also say to him that the best nines just move on after missing chances and they put the next one in. I'm delighted that he scored tonight.
Andrés Perea showed why he brings a different dynamic to our midfield tonight. I thought he was really aggressive and really hungry. He's as aggressive in training as he is here and I think that's gonna help us."
New York City FC's past two wins have come against Canadian sides, with the 5-0 win against Toronto FC in the Leagues Cup and Wednesday's win against Montreal. They can complete the hat trick against visitors from the north when they welcome the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, September 2, at Yankee Stadium.