When is it time to discuss a coaching change with NYCFC?

  • Nick Cushing has struggled to lead NYCFC
  • Will the next few games lead to a coaching change?
Nick Cushing of NYCFC
Nick Cushing of NYCFC / Ira L. Black - Corbis/GettyImages

It has not been fun in the New York City FC locker room as the club has gone scoreless during the first two matches of the season, falling to both Charlotte FC and St. Louis City SC on the road. They currently sit bottom of the table, with a visit from the first-place Portland Timbers for the home opener at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.   

NYCFC made significant changes during the offseason, bringing in a few outfield players and goalkeepers to build up the depth. However, they continue to struggle to score despite having two true strikers in the team. 

At what point does NYCFC decide to move on from Nick Cushing? The club might have to discuss a coaching change without improvement. The two home opening matches will be the turning point for the Pigeons.

NYCFC will play in front of their home crowd for the first time since October, but not in the best form. The fans expect the Boys in Blue to dominate at home, especially after having one of the best home records in the league. It won't be an easy task as they welcome two hot teams to the Bronx.  

NYCFC might have to consider a coaching change

Since Cushing took over the team, he has maintained a 15-6-9 record at home. He especially came under fire after losing back-to-back home matches last May against FC Cincinnati and the Philadelphia Union, having been the first since 2020 that it has happened.

Winning back the fans’ trust will not be easy, and if NYCFC does not grab a win in the next two games, a coaching change is likely in the future.  Part of the problem is the scoring drought.

The issue is not possession, but rather getting goals on target. During the loss to Charlotte, NYCFC kept 57.4 percent of possession. Out of the 11 shots, they only managed to get three on target and none in the net. It was a different story against St. Louis as the home side had 17 shots against their eight, but the Bronx team also kept 52 percent of the possession.  

Whatever tactics Cushing is trying does not seem to work if the goals aren't coming from the team. He could bench Mounsef Bakrar for Jovan Mijatović if he sees nothing coming out of the Algerian, but the issue is trying to get balls to the forward rather than the player itself. Bakrar has made a total of 29 passes within the first two games, compared to Cristian Arango of Real Salt Lake, who recorded 20 passes in each of his last two games while having two goals and one assist in three matches.  

Meanwhile, the club has already announced its concept for the new stadium that is set to be ready in 2027, which includes an immersive seven-story-foot cube front door. They have also announced a few brand changes to honor the 10th anniversary of MLS play. However, it’s not the best look for the team if they continue to perform poorly amid all these changes to the club.   

At some point, NYCFC will do anything to change the club around, even if it involves a coaching change. They had already lost Maxime Chanot, who had not been on the best of terms with Cushing. it is believed the head coach prompted his departure. If more players become unhappy with the current environment, then the team's form will continue to decline. At least 10 MLS teams had a coaching change in the offseason. Therefore, it was surprising that NYCFC decided to stick with Cushing.   

The next few matches will determine if NYCFC will want to continue with Cushing or go in a different direction.