NYCFC suffers frustrating loss to Philadelphia Union despite good play

-NYCFC fell to the Philadelphia Union in the final game before the Leagues Cup

-Mistakes by Luis Barraza and Tayvon Gray led to the loss

-The future remains uncertain

Luis Barraza of NYCFC
Luis Barraza of NYCFC / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last week, New York City FC has had some exciting transfer news, both confirmed and yet to be confirmed.  At first, the club announced the signing of a striker, Mounsef Bakrar.  And then, Valentín Castellanos is finally set to make the well-deserved permanent move to a club, for the Argentine is set to move to S.S. Lazio.

As such, supporters were somewhat happy, especially with some of the other rumors regarding player movement.  However, before the Philadelphia Union match on Saturday, Talles Magno mas missing from the team.  Roberto Abramowitz reported it was a coaching decision, but recently rumors have been swirling on social media that the Brazilian would be on the move to Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras.

To make matters worse, Nick Cushing put out a questionable lineup, choosing Matías Pellegrini over Gabriel Pereira and Kevin O’Toole over Braian Cufré.  For a team that really needed to win, not choosing two vital players to enhance the offense was a questionable move.

While the game was not terrible, NYCFC ended up losing, 2-1, after a few mistakes allowed for the Union to score.  This ended their unbeaten streak, and also means that the team will remain at 26 points until Major League Soccer play resumes August 20.

NYCFC played well, but lost to Philadelphia due to mistakes

In the first half, New York City FC did not play their best football, and it looked like the Union would run away with the match.  This was especially true once the home side scored the first goal in the 23rd minute.

Philadelphia opened the scoring after a poor giveaway in Pigeons’ own half.  The players made their way down the pitch on the counter, and then the unlikely scorer, José Martínez, put his team in front by viciously putting the ball into the goal.  There was only a slight amount of space between Luis Barraza and the goalpost, and he still scored.

In the second half, NYCFC dominated the game.  They had more opportunities and controlled the possession.  Defensively, the backline was strong.  Maxime Chanot, who had a fantastic match, made critical tackles and clearances, and the team looked like they would get the tying goal. 

Alas, that was not the case, and in the 81st minute, mistakes by both Tayvon Gray and Barraza led to Chris Donovan scoring the second goal of the night for the Union.  Gray made the mistake where he did not clear the ball, and Barraza had come off of his line, which allowed for an easy goal. 

That goal would be the game winner, for the goal-scoring struggles and lack of a striker were once again clearer than water.  However, after Justin Haak scored his first goal last weekend, Andres Jasson scored his first in the 86th minute.  The Homegrown player initially missed his first shot, but then he scored on the rebound.

This was another frustrating game though.  The first half was not the best half, but the Pigeons played well in the second.  Despite the questionable Starting XI, Cushing made solid substitute decisions. Jasson did well on the wing, and obviously got his first goal.  Moreover, the energy from the changes kept NYCFC fighting until the final whistle.  It felt like they should have scored one or two more, but that did not happen.

Times are tough for the Bronx side, and the future is questionable.  Ideally, there will be more new signings, and Bakrar will be at the club sooner, rather than later.  Goals are needed for New York City FC, but at least there is that break in MLS play to hopefully lead to a 180 for the rest of the season.