On Saturday, New York City FC and Inter Miami CF finished the match in a 1-1 draw. The Pigeons needed to win and take all three points, and they almost accomplished their objective. Sadly, the Herons were able to tie the game with just a few minutes to go in stoppage time. This caused the two teams to share the points.
Once again, NYCFC failed to hold onto a lead. This is something that has haunted them throughout the season. It did not help there were seven minutes of stoppage time, but that should not matter. The Bronx team has to be better at holding onto those one-goal leads.
After the result, Nick Cushing expressed a glass-half-full view of the game. He told NYCFC.com the following:
"I said to the team then, ultimately at this moment that point takes us one place higher and one point further [toward our goal]. Of course, we wanted three and there are areas of the game we have to improve for sure. It wasn't a perfect game tonight from us but this isn't the moment to look at it like two points dropped.- Nick Cushing
It has to be the moment to look at it like one point gained. It is a difficult place to come.
We have to look at it like it gives us more opportunity to go to D.C. United and get a result and that gives us the best chance going into the last game of the season."
Nick Cushing needs to be realistic regarding NYCFC's draw
Understandably, Cushing continues to be positive; he wants to ensure his NYCFC team does not give up hope. At the same time, the glass-half-full attitude is not realistic. They had to win to better their chances of making the playoffs. Plus, they did not score to tie the game; they gave up the lead.
Therefore, Cushing has to be realistic. The match was not about a point earned, but rather the fact they lost out on two points. If this was any other NYCFC season, then okay, the point on the road would be a solid outcome. However, NYCFC is fighting for a playoff spot.
Right now, the Pigeons sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The seven teams above them have mostly guaranteed their spot in the postseason. On the other side, the teams eighth through 14th place are separated by only five points. Some of them have one or two more games to play compared to NYCFC's two. Hence, it will be easy to hop right over the Bronx team and send them below the playoff line.
With two games left, having some positivity is necessary. Again, Cushing does not want to discourage his players. Yet, one must be realistic. He should have focused a little on how the team lost out on points. Truthfully, the fans would have preferred to hear a glass-half-empty comment from the head coach. At this point in the season, his tone is too optimistic.
Despite a few weeks of hope, New York City FC's playoff chances are slipping away. Anyone who watched the weekend's fixture sees that the Pigeons lost out on two points.