The final game of a three-game homestand was on the agenda for New York City FC on Saturday afternoon. At full-time, the Pigeons drew scoreless with the New England Revolution to wrap up a hectic seven-day schedule.
Both teams came to Yankee Stadium looking to crawl out of their slumps but instead broke even in disappointment. The winless streak for the boys in blue extends to seven games. On the other hand, New England's skid has underlined their past six fixtures.
But NYCFC should have won that game.
The Pigeons were objectively the better team, controlling 54% of the possession and outshooting the opposition 17-12. Nick Cushing pointed to a good performance from New England's Đorđe Petrović as the x-factor for the stalemate. However, the Bronx side had multiple moments, breakaways, and open attempts that would have produced goals with the help of better placement. These opportunities provided drumrolls but ended with the Pigeons shooting blindly.
Nick Cushing expressed his thoughts after NYCFC loss
With Luis Barraza between the sticks earning a clean sheet for New York City FC, it was shameful that the players on the opposite pole of the pitch could not find the net. The goalkeeper expressed his frustration to Skyscraper Blues.
"It's always frustrating. Anyone who watched the game today knows we are creating, we are defending well, we are doing everything we have to do. Unfortunately, it's just not falling for us. But there's nothing to be upset about. It's just a matter of getting momentum."- Luis Barraza
While Barraza and other players seem to be happy not losing, there is a greater sense of urgency for Cushing. With "Cushing Out" becoming a fluent phase among the fanbase, NYCFC's skipper acknowledges the frustration hovering over their recent form. Banners with the phrase were present at the third rail-- NYCFC's supporter section. The head coach saw them, and told reporters that.
"I'm not blind, I see the crowd. The supporters and this football team mean everything to me. I've been in this organization for 17 seasons. It means everything to me to win for those guys (the supporters). I come here and [I] fight to win a football game. Then I'll go straight home and watch this game again. I don't want people to say 'oh he's the king, put down the signs, and let's love him.' I feel it deep down. I will continue to fight, I will continue to work, I will find a solution and this team will get up the league. Whatever the solution is."- Nick Cushing
Through the seven-game winless streak, NYCFC has scored five goals and conceded 12. While several factors play a part, Cushing cannot be the only person on the cross-hair. In the end, it is up to the players to find the net, and it is up to the front office to find someone to do the job if they continuously fail to do it.
Still, the head coach believes in the current process.
"I take real comfort and confidence when I go in the dressing room and see a group of guys that believe in each other, trust in each other, and believe in what we are doing."- Nick Cushing
Next, New York City FC heads to Utah to challenge Real Salt Lake on June 10 before returning home to welcome the Columbus Crew on the 17th.