On Wednesday, New York City FC faced Toronto FC in their second game of the Leagues Cup. The team entered the match with pressure on every single player’s shoulders, for the Pigeons lost against Atlas F.C. in the first game. As such, winning was the only option.
Even a win would not guarantee a spot in the Round of 32. Thankfully, Mounsef Bakrar received his first start for NYCFC, so they had a striker up top and center. Moreover, Toronto was missing multiple players, including Lorenzo Insigne and Michael Bradley. Some would think the Reds would be an easily beaten team, but based on the 2023 season, the home team could find themselves on the losing side.
Still, NYCFC needed to score, and finally, the goals arrived. The Pigeons beat Toronto, 5-0, and they are still alive in the Leagues Cup. Goals from Maxime Chanot, Mounsef Bakrar, Santiago Rodríguez, and Andres Jasson led to the three points earned. Now, everyone must wait and see what will happen when Toronto and Atlas play one another this weekend.
There was quite a bit to unpack. Here are three things that we learned from the Leagues Cup fixture between NYCFC and Toronto.
3. NYCFC fans still hate Red Bull Arena
New York City FC fans still hate Red Bull Arena, and rightfully so. When the game began, the stadium looked extremely empty. When the game ended, the stadium had more people, but still looked empty. In other words, many supporters did not make the trip to New Jersey.
This is not shocking by any means though. In 2020 and 2021, the Pigeons had to play quite a few matches at Red Bull Arena. This did not sit well with the fan base, and since 2021, many tend to avoid attending their rival’s home.
Sure, NYCFC could have used the support on Wednesday, but it made sense that the stadium was quiet and barren. It would take a lot for the fans to change their ways, and the vital Leagues Cup fixture would not change the poor attendance at the New Jersey stadium.