NYCFC: 3 things we learned from the 2-1 win over Toronto FC

  • On Saturday, NYCFC played against Toronto FC
  • The Pigeons won their first game of the 2024 season
  • Here are three things we learned from the match

NYCFC / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

To quote Frank Sinatra, “Start spreadin' the news!”  New York City FC has won their first game of the 2024 season!  It has been a long month, but the wait is finally over.  Despite going down a man in the 68th minute due to a red card to Keaton Parks, the team held on to earn their first three points.

This was a much-needed win after the late-goal heartbreaker from the Portland Timbers.  Not only that, but NYCFC’s 2-1 win over Toronto FC marks the first time the Pigeons have beaten the Reds three times in a row.  This also puts the home side ahead in the head-to-head matchup.  They now lead the Canadian team with a 10-9-7 record.

NYCFC did go down 1-0 early on.  However, Santiago Rodríguez scored to draw the game level.  Then, Kevin O’Toole scored the game-winner.  Teamwork and the defensive effort kept them alive after they went down to ten men on the pitch.  Supporters were able to see great play on the offensive and defensive end.

There is a lot to discuss from the match.  Here are three things we learned from the 2-1 win.

3 things we learned from NYCFC’s 2-1 win

1. NYCFC’s secondary kit looks amazing

NYCFC has already worn the 24/7 kit, so supporters knew it looked fantastic on the pitch.  The black, blue, and orange work so well together.  Additionally, the simple design makes the kits pleasant to look at.

However, fans now know the kits look incredible at Yankee Stadium.  While the pitch is smaller, the black jerseys continue to stand out and look incredible on the players.  This just proves the club did well off the pitch with the design.  With the current struggles this season, it would not have been good if the secondary kits were bad.  Thankfully, it is one positive from the season.  The win also is a positive, but who knows what will happen over the next few weeks.

2. Scoring goals leads to wins

There is no question that the goal-scoring struggles have haunted NYCFC since last season.  A major issue was that they would only score one goal or none. 

In 2024, they scored no goals in the first two matches and one goal in the Portland game.  These were all losses.  Therefore, the 2-1 win illuminates the need to score.  Of course, it is never a guarantee that scoring will lead to wins.  A team could score three or four goals and then lose by one. 

Yet, a team cannot win unless they score.  Most of the Pigeons’ wins occurred when they scored two or more, and this continued into this season.  That is why NYCFC must continue to improve their finishing and find ways to get the ball into the back of the net. 

The offensive effort was incredible, for the Bronx side has 17 shots with nine on target.  One can only wonder whether that would be higher without Parks' red card.  Perhaps the night would have ended with at least one more goal.

3. There are early discipline concerns for NYCFC

In four games, NYCFC players have been given two red cards.  James Sands was given a straight red in the St. Louis City SC fixture while Parks received the red during the win over Toronto. Subsequently, should there be concerns about discipline?

Two reds early on in the year are not normal.  Moreover, they were given to veteran midfielders.  Plus, ten yellow cards have been handed out, including four on Saturday.  It is a bit concerning since the Pigeons desperately need to have everyone available game in and game out.  Injuries happen, but stronger discipline to avoid cards is something players can do.

At the same time, some yellow cards may have been unnecessary.  The referees are replacement ones after all.  Nonetheless, both Sands and Parks deserved their red cards.  NYCFC needs to be more careful when on the pitch.