The halfway point Nick Cushing review: He should stay until the end of the season

  • At first, many preferred Nick Cushing's sacking after the poor start to the season
  • Now, after 17 games, it is okay and the right choice for him to stay until the end of the year
Nick Cushing of NYCFC
Nick Cushing of NYCFC / Mark Smith-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC's five-game winning streak came to an end on Friday after they fell 3-2 to the Columbus Crew. Still, there is no question the team has been playing much better over the last few months after their poor start to the 2024 season. They have won eight of their last ten games, which includes wins on the road. Funny enough, the two losses were at home.

After 17 games, the team is 9-6-2 with 29 points. The recent run has them in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. As promised, it is time to review Nick Cushing since the season is halfway done.

Before the season, it was thought the head coach should not be here. Then, as the year progressed, it was felt that he could stay for now, for he started to get some wins. That is why judging him at the halfway point was important, for things continued to change.

So, is Cushing the right man for the job? Should the NYCFC head coach stay?

Nick Cushing has done enough to remain the NYCFC head coach through 2024

As of now, Cushing should remain the head coach throughout the remainder of the season. The job he has done over the last couple of months meets the standards of New York City fans, who expect nothing but the best. He led them to three road wins after winning just once on the road in 2023. Moreover, NYCFC has won nine matches, which equals the win total from the previous season.

Sometimes, his tactical and substitution decisions can be questionable, as seen in the Crew match. After the red card, he switched to a five-man backline, which may be why the visitors scored when they did. However, some players he has brought on, including Maxi Moralez, made a difference in how NYCFC played. They still lost, but the play at the beginning of the second half compared to the end was night and day.

In fact, Cushing has improved significantly with his substitution moves. Over their winning streak, players who came on have made a major impact in matches. Alonso Martínez is a great example, for he scored the hat trick against the San Jose Earthquakes after he came on.

His tactics have also started to click, for the production on the pitch is more times than not smoother and noticeable. Most City Football Group teams play out of the back, so that is not any different from previous years. The way NYCFC moves up the pitch is better compared to 2023. Additionally, the Pigeons are capitalizing on scoring chances. That is a huge difference. Imagine what the team could do once one of the strikers is producing as a striker should.

More importantly, NYCFC is winning. Again, they have won eight of their last ten games. They also win ugly games, which is necessary to compete with the best in Major League Soccer.

Nevertheless, the one thing Cushing must show is consistency. This is something that has been missing since he took over. The next games before the Leagues Cup will illuminate quite a bit about the team. Not only do they have multiple fixtures away from home, but can they rebound from the Columbus loss? Or will they fall back to the old ways of 2023 and the beginning of 2024?

This will be the biggest summer yet for Cushing and NYCFC. The next few months will likely be the deciding factor of whether he is the right man for the job. He is not out of the woods yet, but things are looking better than before.