NYCFC: 3 things we learned from the 1-1 draw against Charlotte FC

Talles Magno of NYCFC
Talles Magno of NYCFC / Mark Smith-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, New York City FC welcomed Charlotte FC to Queens for their second match of the season.  The Crown, who entered the league last year, has won all three games against the Pigeons.  As such, the home side wanted to break that winless streak, especially because the visitors were struggling this season too.

Of course, NYCFC entered the match on a short turnaround from their first win since April.  The team was glad to end the winless stretch, but wanted to continue their unbeaten run, for that stood at six going into the match. More importantly, they wanted that second win.

Sadly, the Pigeons were unable to grab all three points.  NYCFC drew Charlotte, 1-1, and the lack of goals can be blamed for the inability to win.

Quite a bit occurred during this Eastern Conference matchup.  Here are three things we learned from NYCFC’s performance.

Three things we learned from the NYCFC 1-1 draw

1. Justin Haak is still adjusting as a center-back for NYCFC

Over the last few games, Justin Haak has done well in the center-back position for New York City FC.  This included Wednesday’s game against Charlotte, with a few defensive mistakes here and there.  However, the 17th minute goal by Orrin McKinze Gaines II is the proof in the pudding that illuminates he has to grow as a defender.

Charlotte went up first because Haak was unable to clear the ball.  In an attempt to push it out of danger, he sent the ball right to Gaines, and the Charlotte player scored a golazo to put his team in front.  Luis Barraza could not stop the power that went into the back of the net, and likely most goalkeepers could not stop that shot.

Still, Haak needs to do better, and cannot make those mistakes.  Of course, small mistakes plagued the team, especially during the winless streak, but this was a clearance attempt that lacked intensity and awareness.  Hopefully this will be a learning opportunity, and the Homegrown player will not make the same mistake for NYCFC in the future.

2. A striker cannot come soon enough for NYCFC

Ah yes, another match for NYCFC that saw mostly good play, but lacked in goals.  The team controlled and dominated the possession with about 58%, and basically controlled the game against Charlotte.  Unfortunately, a silly mistake is why the Pigeons were unable to win. 

It was not quiet offensively either.  The players had 21 shots, with five on target.  Plus, the passes on the wings continued throughout the 90 minutes of play, so there was no hardship of getting the ball into the box.  But without a number nine, and with the struggles of those who should be scoring more, the Queens side could not get the goals they needed.  Thankfully Braian Cufré was able to grab the goal for the point, but that was the only goal for the Pigeons.

Hence, a striker cannot come soon enough.  Not only does NYCFC need someone to score a high number of goals, but there should also be a domino effect.  If a talented striker starts to tally goals, then other offensive players should gain more confidence.  It will also lead to more competition in training, and increase the work rate in the attacking third.

Thankfully, the team should be bringing in their number nine this summer.  One can only wonder how the team will change once a goal-scorer is starting for NYCFC.

3. Talles Magno is due to score for NYCFC

If there is one player for NYCFC that is due to score, then it is Talles Magno.  The Brazilian had one of his better performances as a center-forward while playing against Charlotte, but could not grab the goal.  He had four shots total, where all four were on target. He also made some good runs, which increased the opportunities for his teammates to pass to him.

At the same time, his performance up front and center is still not good enough; rather, it was tremendously better compared to his previous times playing the number nine position.  Magno is better utilized on the wings, but at least his work rate and chances over the last few fixtures show he is bound to score soon. 

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In the end, Magno and the rest of the offense has to put the ball into the back of the net, and cannot continue to not score, or in Wednesday’s case, score just one goal.  This is why New York City FC again lost out on points at home.  The team played well, but the result does not match how they played.