On Sunday, New York City FC welcomed Minnesota United FC to Queens in the first Major League Soccer match since the Leagues Cup. The two teams met just last year after a few years without a meeting. In that game, the Pigeons won by a 1-0 scoreline.
The team also broke out the brand new Parks kit. It was odd to see NYCFC in green. There were some questions about how it would look on the green pitch too. But the new kit worked on the Citi Field grass. It felt like it was a new beginning as well with the new kit and the start of the last part of the season.
Sadly, there was no new beginning. NYCFC lost to Minnesota, 2-0. Hope existed due to the good play by the Pigeons. Yet, the inability to score defined the night.
The fixture had quite a bit of action. Here are three things we learned from NYCFC’s game against Minnesota.
3. Thiago Martins wore the captain’s armband with Maxime Chanot on the bench
It was somewhat shocking that New York City FC head coach Nick Cushing chose to start Birk Risa and sit Maxime Chanot. The new player only arrived at the club about a week or so ago. Then, the veteran has been having a superb season in the defense. The decision did not make sense, but Risa held his own in his first start. The score probably would not be different regardless of whether Chanot was in the backline.
Therefore, Thiago Martins wore the captain’s armband. It was thought that James Sands would be the captain with Chanot on the bench, but instead, the Brazilian took over. It makes one wonder whether Sands will wear the armband less for the remainder of the season. He is a good leader at a young age, but Chanot illuminates as a captain when he plays.
Martins, who is in his second year with the club, exemplifies his veteran status when he plays. He has leadership abilities too. This was seen during the fixture against the Loons. It appears he is a good choice to wear the armband. Of course, Chanot should always be the first choice when he is on the pitch.