This past weekend, New York City FC had one of the team’s, if not, the worst, loss of the season. They lost to a struggling Toronto FC side, and barely put up a fight. If the Pigeons would have had a similar performance to the match against FC Dallas, where they played some of their best football, then there is no doubt they would have won, or at least would have left with a point.
The disappointing loss did not sit well with supporters, and rightfully so. The night and day performances from playing at home and on the road is frustrating. That was why many wondered what Nick Cushing would say in his postgame comments.
If anything, thankfully he did not blame the delay from the fire alarm for NYCFC's terrible match. However, per NYCFC.com, he did blame the slow start:
"We didn’t start the game well enough. We spoke about having to start the game well, especially here, and we didn’t start the game well enough. Both teams have to go through the same process [with the delay]. It’s not helpful to go out, warm-up, come in and have to go back out, but both teams were just as frustrated with that."- Nick Cushing
Nick Cushing has refreshing postgame comments regarding NYCFC
There is no doubt NYCFC did not start the match well, but good teams figure things out within the 90 minutes. Unfortunately, that was not the case for the Pigeons. That was also why the lone goal by the Reds was the winning goal.
Cushing did mention that when the Bronx side is “not playing well”, they need to become the team that “develops the mentality to correct that in the game”. This was exactly what was wanted on Saturday, but both the head coach and the players were unable to make corrections to change the tide of the fixture.
It was a breath of fresh air that Cushing continued to express the thoughts of the NYCFC fans. He talked about the differences with the home and away results too:
"We know we’re not producing the same away as we are at home. This game is another reflection of that. It’s the second game we’ve gone with Santi [Rodríguez] up there [in the forward role]. Previously, we went with Gabe Segal at New England, Talles [Magno] at Houston… We have to produce more. It’s a mindset, it’s a mentality. We were better in the New England game. It’s disappointing we didn’t approach this game in the way we wanted to. We know at the moment our home record is good; our away record isn’t good enough, and isn’t where we want it to be for the team we want to be. We have to solve that."- Nick Cushing
It is commendable that the head coach openly recognizes they are not the same away from home. This is what supporters want to hear, for they do not want excuses. Luckily, Cushing does not offer justifications for why this is occurring, but rather indirectly apologizes by recognizing the concerns of the NYCFC fans. The way he handled the postgame comments was well done, and in all honesty, not every coach will do this.
Arguably, the next game away to Charlotte FC should be a fixture where the Pigeons can turn the page. But as always, the questions remains whether Cushing and his team can figure out why they are not great away from home, and how to fix it. When all is said and done though, it would be nice to hear what the head coach is doing to fix the road woes for New York City FC.