Why Nick Cushing is not on the chopping block yet for NYCFC

Nick Cushing of NYCFC
Nick Cushing of NYCFC / Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Times have not been fun for New York City FC as of late.  The Pigeons are currently on a four game losing streak in all competitions, and three in Major League Soccer.  Some games were poorly played, while others had decent performances by the players.  The difference in losing points often lied with a mistake or two, and then the lack of scoring.

Now, the scoring is a big issue, and this was seen in three of the four matches on the road.  Supporters have been angry about the fact the club has not signed a striker, and many point to that as the main reason why the team is struggling.  There is also the lack of depth pieces, which makes it difficult to substitute on five great players for the Starting XI.

As a result, the #CushingOut has been increasing on social medial, for some fans want Nick Cushing gone from NYCFC.  The head coach has struggled at points since taking over for Ronny Deila last summer.  However, he has not even had a full season of play as of yet. 

While some may not agree, Cushing cannot be on the chopping block yet.  It would be surprising if the Pigeons axed him, and there are multiple reasons why.

NYCFC will not remove Nick Cushing at this time

Again, the head coach has not had a full season coaching New York City FC under his belt, let alone a full year between both seasons.  The Front Office will likely want to give him that time, and not remove him mid-season without having the next head coach ready to go.  Rather, the team would have to continue losing in order for any drastic action to occur. 

Moreover, all of these losses have come on the road.  NYCFC has struggled on the road over the last few seasons, especially this year.  Thus far, they only have two points away from home.

Yet, at home, the team has earned 13 out of a possible 15 points, and have had some very strong performances.  The players also have scored goals at both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.  As such, Cushing has not entirely produced poor results.  The difference has been the home and away fixtures. 

Yes, it is concerning, but it is only May.  What fans should watch will be the next home games.  If NYCFC loses or plays poorly over the next few home matches, then there is a chance a discussion about Cushing will be held. 

Also, might it be reminded the Pigeons are known for their streaks of poor periods of play?  In 2021, most supporters wanted Deila gone after the poor run that saw the team on the outside looking in for the playoffs.  From August 4 through October 17, the team saw three wins in 14 MLS matches and were 3-6-5.  But then, things changed, and the season ended with a MLS Cup trophy lift. 

And Cushing had a streak when he took over in 2022, for from August 6 to September 10, NYCFC was 1-7-1, picking up a mere four points in MLS.  Then, they went on to win the remaining games in the regular season, and picked up a Campeones Cup as well.  They even made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, despite that poor run.    

Finally, the club recognizes there is a need for a striker and a few more players.  It might be smart to wait, and see what Cushing is able to do with the new additions.  In complete honesty, it would be unfair for the front office to fire Cushing when they are the ones who failed to build the roster as it should be.  The team is one or two players away from having a playoff caliber side. 

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Losing is never fun, but it would not be wise to remove Cushing as the head coach.  At least, that is the case today.  The conversation could easily be different a month from now.  But based on previous season streaks, the fact the Pigeons have done well at home, and the need for a few more players, the head coach is not on the chopping block at this time.  But New York City FC has a lot of work to do; there is no question to that.