The last few days have been quite eventful for New York City FC. First, Valentín Castellanos finally made his move to S.S. Lazio, and this was one everyone was happy about. The striker deserved the move to Italy, and he will always be a club legend.
However, an unexpected move occurred, for Gabriel Pereira transferred over to Al-Rayyan in Qatar. This was a move where the reasons were questionable, and supporters were not happy. The Brazilian was the star of the not-so-great season, and now the team began their Leagues Cup journey without him.
Sadly, Sunday evening’s game against Atlas F.C. did not go well, and NYCFC fell to their opponents, 1-0. To move on past the group round, at least four points would be needed, and by losing the match, the Pigeons have a huge hole to climb. The top two teams will move on in the group, so the match against Toronto FC on Wednesday will be urgently critical. In other words, it must end in a win for the Queens team.
Nonetheless, the match was eventful. Here are three things we learned from the NYCFC fixture against Atlas.
3. Maxime Chanot was rightfully the captain and should remain that way
Before the match began, there was the question about who would be the captain for New York City FC: Maxime Chanot or James Sands. This time, Chanot was given the armband, and his leadership was evident early on.
When the Pigeons gave up the early goal against Atlas, he encouraged his teammates to fight and keep pushing forward. This was done throughout his entire time on the pitch, and if leadership could be seen physically, then there would be a bright light around him. His work rate was also tremendous, but then again, it usually is. His composure in the backline was helpful to keep Atlas from scoring more than they did, and one can only wonder what the result would have been without him.
Hopefully, he will continue to be the captain on Wednesday and throughout the remainder of the season.