NYCFC falls back into old habits as the team loses 2-0 to the LA Galaxy

  • NYCFC played the LA Galaxy for the first time since 2022
  • The Pigeons lost 2-0
  • The team fell back into old habits and struggled to score
NYCFC / Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, New York City FC traveled to California to take on the Los Angeles Galaxy for the first time since 2022.  The Pigeons just ended their winning streak after they fell to the Columbus Crew.  The players had issues during the match, but it did not help that poor refereeing took place during the game.

Hence, NYCFC was hopeful they could win their fourth away game in a row.  To do that, they would have to beat an extremely talented LA Galaxy.  The team was in third place with 31 points before the game, which so far is one of their best seasons as of late.  With players like Dejan Joveljić, Joseph Paintsil, and Riqui Puig leading the team, there is no question as to why they are doing well.

Thankfully, NYCFC did not have to deal with Puig, who has a slight knock.  Even better, Thiago Martins and Kevin O’Toole were back in the defense, shoring up the backline.  Despite the threat from LA, the overall consensus was that the Bronx side had a shot to bring something home.

They say it is the hope that kills you, and unfortunately, NYCFC fans will be disappointed by the result.  NYCFC fell to the LA Galaxy 2-0, losing their second match in a row.  The Pigeons fell back into old habits in the game that felt way too familiar in the worst way.

NYCFC falls to the LA Galaxy

NYCFC did not play terribly.  Rather, like their losses last year and the first part of 2024, it was mistakes that led to the result.  They competed with LA and had opportunities to score.  The issue was capitalizing on those chances.

Of course, the home side is a great team.  They have proven what they can do without their star Puig.  At the same time, the talent level is insane where they can be without a few of their star players.  The Pigeons did a decent job competing with them.  Again, the issue was that nobody could find the back of the net.

The Galaxy’s first goal was due to a defensive mistake.  James Sands was playing it a little too relaxed while he was looking for someone to pass to.  This led to a poor pass where he gave the ball away.  Since they were close to the box, LA had plenty of space to shoot.  Gabriel Pec first tried his shot, but the Pigeons blocked his opportunity.  However, the ball fell right to their top scorer, Joveljić, who easily put his team ahead in the 41st minute.

It did not improve, for NYCFC fell behind 2-0 in the 49th minute.  They gave the Galaxy plenty of space to run down the right side, which in turn allowed a few passes until it finally fell to Diego Fagúndez.  The midfielder easily put the ball past Matt Freese, for the backline did not mark him.  Notably, this goal occurred not too long after the halftime switch of Strahinja Tanasijević for Birk Risa.

If NYCFC had performed offensively the way they did during their long homestand or winning streak, then likely the match would have ended differently.  They could not find the back of the net and lacked the killer instinct on goal.  Most of the shots were not threatening, and the team had only four out of 13 on target.  Alas, they were easy saves when all was said and done.

The most important takeaway from this loss is that NYCFC has to ensure they do not maintain their old habits of struggling to score.  Additionally, five of their next seven games will be on the road.  It is vital that they win a few of those fixtures and do not return to when they could not win away from home.

The recent period of success was fun.  Now, NYCFC is in the middle of an extremely difficult period where the route to failure is always an option.  It does not have to be brilliant like their eight wins in ten matches, but they cannot falter where they fall down the Eastern Conference standings.  Rebound, and kick the old habits to the side.