NYCFC starter statistics after 17 games in 2023

Talles Magno of NYCFC
Talles Magno of NYCFC / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 season for New York City FC has been extremely taxing and disappointing.  Not only is the team currently in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, but the current record stands at 4-7-6.  As a reminder, Skyscraper Blues uses the win-loss-draw format, for it is the one predominantly used in the United States.

And yes, the Pigeons have only four wins out of 17 fixtures, or halfway through the season.  2023 was expected to be below average as compared to previous years, but it was not thought to be this bad.  It is also more difficult to process since there have been quite a few games where the players played well, but they just could not get the goals necessary to compete and/or win. 

Part of the reason NYCFC is where they are today is due to the fact they lack a true goal-scoring striker, and the depth amongst the squad is lacking… a lot.  There is plenty of talent for the Starting XI, but the youth can also be looked at as why the team is struggling to grab points. 

Nonetheless, one could easily look at the statistics regarding the players that start.  Now, statistics are about correlation, and not causation.  Still, it is interesting to see what the records are based on certain decisions by the head coach, Nick Cushing, and that is what will be looked at below.  Note that these statistics are based on the starting players, and not whether certain ones came off early or if substitutes made a difference, either negatively or positively. 

NYCFC starter stats after half of the 2023 season

One area Cushing has changed with the New York City FC lineup quite often is with the left-backs and right-backs.  He has used five different combinations so far this year: Braian Cufré and Tayvon Gray, Cufré and Mitja Ilenič, Cufré and Stephen Turnbull, Kevin O’Toole and Gray, and then O’Toole and Ilenič.

Using the five combinations respectively, the records are the following: 1-3-0, 3-0-3, 0-1-2, 0-2-1, and 0-1-0.  Clearly the best record revolves around Cufré and Ilenič, for they have not lost when starting together.  While these statistics are about correlation, some cannot help but wonder why the two have not started more at the same time.  On the other hand, O’Toole is 0-3-1 in all of his starts, which aids in the idea that he should not be starting, at least according to some supporters. 

Next up, it is vital to take a look at Talles Magno.  The Designated Player is supposed to be the star this year, and he has yet to take the reins to lead his teammates.  Now, these numbers are not based on where he played in the final third, but rather it is looked at whether he started. 

As such, the record when the Brazilian started is 4-4-4.  When he did not start, NYCFC was 0-3-2.  With this, there does not seem to be much with the correlation.  However, it is noticeable that the team’s four wins occurred when Magno started. 

Of course, one cannot forget the captain, James Sands.  Since he returned to the club, he has played in every single match, or all 16 that he was available for.  As many know, he is expected to miss some matches for the upcoming Gold Cup, so unfortunately he will not be available for a maximum of six games.

In the 16 matches though, NYCFC is 4-3-4 when Sands starts in the defensive midfield, and then 0-3-2 when he starts as a center-back.  Notably all of the wins came when the midfielder by trade was in the midfield.     

One item where there are not too many examples, but it is interesting to look at, is what the record is for when the following players start together: Magno, Richard Ledezma, Gabriel Pereira, and Santiago Rodríguez.  These four are arguably the best attacking players in the team, and surprisingly have not started often together.  When they do start, the team is 1-1-0.

Next. NYCFC: James Sands will represent the USMNT at the Gold Cup. NYCFC: James Sands will represent the USMNT at the Gold Cup. dark

There are many other starter statistics that could be looked at as well.  Based on those above, certain things can be inferred.  It must be stressed again though that these starters do not necessary lead to wins or losses.  Rather, it is about the correlation.  Nevertheless, fans can make their own conclusions about New York City FC and the records based on these starter statistics.