Times have been rough for New York City FC. They have lost five of their last six matches going into Sunday’s fixture, and many vital defenders have been out over the last few weeks. In fact, on Sunday, the team was without Alexander Callens, Anton Tinnerholm, and Thiago Martins when they traveled to face the New England Revolution. Additionally, Keaton Parks continues to be unavailable, and Alfredo Morales was out too.
This caused NYCFC to sign Stephen Turnbull from NYCFC II on a short-term loan. The defender was on the bench for the New England match, but this move shows the Pigeons were in a mess with the defense, and somewhat in a panic mode.
That being said, defensive mistakes are the reason they have struggled since Ronny Deila left, and these mistakes have occurred even when most of the defense was healthy. Then, in some matches, the attacking players were able to score, and other times, they were not able to find the back of the net. So, in order to beat the Revolution, the Bronx side had to score, and not make costly defensive mistakes.
Unfortunately, NYCFC fell to New England, 3-0. This now makes six losses in their last seven, and this is only the second time this has occurred, with the first time occurring in 2015.
Defensive mistakes led to another New York City FC loss
Once again, defensive miscues and errors led to the loss. With the first Revolution goal, the pass into the box by the former New York City FC player, Tommy McNamara was good and solid. Yet, the Pigeons had the opportunity to clear the ball, and should have. However, nobody was able to do so, and this resulted in the first goal by Jonathan Bell.
With the second, the defense left too much space, and did not mark the attacking players well. This led to the rookie, Noel Buck, to score his first goal in Major League Soccer, and it was a good goal. Still, the team should have defended better. Even more so, this goal came not too long after a long offensive effort by the NYCFC players. They looked to have run out of steam for a little bit, and this was when the second goal was scored.
Finally, the third goal, which was scored by McNamara, was because the defense fell asleep. The Pigeons allowed too much space, just watched the passed ball into the box roll by, and New England took the opportunity to punish the collapsing team even more. In addition, Nick Cushing made some substitutions right before, and it was clear they were just adjusting to the defensive plan put in place.
Yes, NYCFC made mistakes, but for the most part, they were the stronger side, both in the attack and possession. They actually had 17 shots, with seven on target, and had over 64% of the possession. The difference in the game was that New England capitalized on their chances, and the Bronx side did not.
There were also multiple chances that players should have scored, but the finishing was either missing, or the Revolution defense stepped up. For example, in the first half, Santiago Rodríguez received an on-point ball from Andres Jasson, and attempted to take his shot. But the Revolution’s goalkeeper, Djordje Petrović, had other ideas, and made the save to keep NYCFC out of goal. In the second half, there were similar opportunities by Jasson, who had a strong performance, and Héber.
Times are tough for New York City FC, and if the team wants to make a run in the playoffs, then they have to win in their final games. Hopefully the team can turn things around with the mid-week fixture, but in complete honesty, things are looking eerily bleak.