On Saturday afternoon, New York City FC returned to Yankee Stadium and welcomed the Columbus Crew to the Bronx. After being winless in nine games in all competitions, the Pigeons were desperate for a win, and goals too. But the team, who was already without Thiago Martins due to injury, was without Maxime Chanot too, for the center-back was away on international duty.
As such, the worry was there. Could NYCFC find a win for the first time since April? Could the likes of Talles Magno or Gabriel Pereira score goals? There were so many questions going into the game, but in all honesty, the only way to get answers was to play the match.
While the Pigeons did play well, a disastrous defensive mishap and then a Gabriel Segal hero moment saw NYCFC draw 1-1 against the Crew. It was disappointing to see the team not win at home again, but at least they grabbed a point thanks to Segal’s stoppage time goal.
Quite a bit occurred during the match. Here are three things that we learned from the draw.
3. The grounds crew has to properly prepare the ground for NYCFC
New York City FC has played at Yankee Stadium since the first season in 2015. Over the years, there have been some games where it was easy and worthy to complain about the pitch. And no, not about the pitch size, like the rest of the league complains about, but rather the actual grass.
Saturday was one of those matches, for the ground was extra slippery. Players from both teams kept on slipping, especially on the sod that covers the infield area. Still, the slips occurred all over the pitch, which is not good for the game.
The slips have led to players giving up the ball, and this included some notable moments, including Braian Cufré’s slip near the box around the 31st minute. If he did not fall down due to the slippery ground, then he could have added another attacking opportunity for his teammates near the center of the goal. That slip also led to a Columbus counter-attack, but fortunately they were unable to do anything with that giveaway.
It is not fair to NYCFC and the Crew that the grounds were not how they should be. The Yankee Stadium grounds crew, who is usually very good, has to make sure they turn the pitch into a proper playing surface week in and week out.