On Saturday, New York City FC did something that no one thought would occur again: the team tied the 11 game winless streak in Major League Soccer that happened in 2015. In addition, that streak extends to 12 in all competitions. This is due to the 1-1 draw against the Portland Timbers, in which Keaton Parks tied the game in order to earn the point away from home.
However, based on the recent streak, where NYCFC is 0-5-6, this draw was not good enough. Supporters have become extremely frustrated, and calls for Nick Cushing to be axed continue to grow.
Of course, part of the issue is the lack of goals from the Pigeons. The team is without an experienced striker, for while Gabriel Segal is a center-forward, the player is still young and slowly growing as a professional. Additionally, the overall production is not the same from a team standpoint, especially in the midfield.
Still, NYCFC has had some good performances this year, even with the lack of goals. This adds to the frustration, and this includes the frustration that both Cushing and the players have yet to figure it out.
A reaction to Nick Cushing’s comments after NYCFC drew Portland
Previously, Cushing has made some solid comments in the past after New York City FC losses or draws. But after the Portland match, he just repeated the same things he has been saying over the last few months, including the idea of the mistakes. He told the media and NYCFC.com that “football is a game of mistakes”. This alludes to the mistake by Tayvon Gray that led to the Timbers’ goal in the first half.
Then again, Cushing has used the idea of mistakes throughout the entire stretch. Yes, mistakes happen, but good teams figure out how to reduce or eliminate certain mistakes. And, in all honesty, plays that have led to goals by opposing sides over the last couple of months can occur against any team. Hence, the usage of mistakes is getting old.
The most interesting comments by the NYCFC head coach were about togetherness. He said the following:
"Yes there is areas we need to improve in. We have to put teams under more pressure offensively, more shots on goal, more opportunities created. I think the team is really coming together. We need to improve the team. We need to we need to add more quality when you have more quality moments to see. But actually the togetherness the fight and the spirit is the best I've experienced as I've been since I've been."- Nick Cushing
So, what is Cushing trying to tell everyone? Has the team failed to be a team and be together for most of the season? Is he quietly blaming some of the failures this season on the fact the team is not a family, and together? These comments were interesting, and truthfully absurd. It is starting to get harder to have faith that this team will turn things around, and these comments are not helping.
Moreover, has NYCFC lacked the fight this year? From watching the games, it looked like the team fought throughout quite a few fixtures. Instead, the inability to score was the downfall. It does feel like Cushing is throwing his players to the wolves by saying these things. Admittedly, that is more than likely not the case, but these comments are poor for a head coach.
On the other hand, it is respected that he focused on the positives, which is something that is needed no matter how bad a stretch is.
"We obviously want to win but I think the nature of the run we're on it feels disappointing because we want to win a football game but to go one nil down in Portland and come away with a point we have to look at the positives. We need to win football games because we need to climb the table so it's small positives, but we still have to show the desire and the hunger and we have to continue to do the work."- Nick Cushing
There are still plenty of questions regarding this team. A stretch of wins would help Cushing, especially once the summer signings are made. Alas, the head coach is coaching a New York team, and New Yorkers do not have patience as compared to other places with other teams in the United States and Canada. These comments will not make most New York City FC supporters feel better; only a series of wins will do.