New York City FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps: 3 things we learned from Saturday's draw

Mar 5, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN;  New York City FC defender Alexander Callens (6) head
Mar 5, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; New York City FC defender Alexander Callens (6) head / Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
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After losing the first match of the season, New York City FC looked to bounce back in the game against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.  Historically before Saturday, the Pigeons led the matchup 3-1-1, and beat the Canadian side the last time they played them in the regular season in 2019. 

Plus, based on the talent of NYCFC, it was expected they would come away with another win.  However, their road adventure woes have already continued this season, and they were playing their second game away in Canada.  In other words, the team had to play excellent soccer in order to go home with any points.

This time around, the Bronx side drew 0-0 with Vancouver, despite being the better side.  The team led in almost every positive statistic but unfortunately were unable to find the back of the net.  Yet, they ended up with a draw on the road, and the next fixture in Major League Soccer will be their home opener at Yankee Stadium.

There was a lot that happened in the 90 minutes of play.  So, here are three things we learned from the fixture between NYCFC and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Talles Magno of New York City FC
Talles Magno of New York City FC / Ira L. Black - Corbis/GettyImages

New York City FC: 3. Talles Magno continues to improve

When Talles Magno signed with New York City FC in 2021, it was clear it would take time for the forward to not only adjust but recover from his knee injury.  There was little pressure for the Brazilian to shine last season, but now he is expected to blossom into the Young Designated Player the team signed for.

So far in 2022, Magno has evidently improved, especially since the end of the previous season.  In the CONCACAF Champions League matches and the fixture against the LA Galaxy, he did struggle somewhat with his passes.  But, against Vancouver, he looked more comfortable passing the ball and was more accurate as well.

More importantly, Magno has become a consistent attacking threat.  Sure, he did not score against the Whitecaps, but he did have two shots with one on target.  Then, he was constantly getting into or near the box, especially in the first half.  His ability to maneuver from the wings to the center of the attack was effortless, and he has shown this in both preseason and competitive fixtures this year. 

In addition, it is obvious he is learning how to get around defenders from just watching him in the final third.  Magno is also not afraid to take chances and be spoiled with his shots, which is something some NYCFC players struggled with last year.  Eventually, those efforts will produce goals, for it is only a matter of time before Magno turns into an attacking threat the league fears. 

Also, Magno is becoming more aware of his teammates.  He is learning when to pass the ball to give them a scoring opportunity but also knows when to make himself available in the final third.  He is not afraid to get himself into the defensive third too.  Hence, the Brazilian is starting to develop into a well-polished and talented forward.  If he continues to play and improve as he has done so far in 2022, then he will likely be on the move across the pond sooner rather than later.