More Frustration for NYCFC at Home
By Rich Mancuso, Sports Editor
Patrick Vieira the first year coach of New York City FC said Sunday night at Yankee Stadium that his team is playing better but after a scoreless tie against Chicago the offense once again was dormant. That’s four consecutive home games and three points compiled in the standings, and that is the prevailing opinion before their next game Saturday at Columbus.
Photo Credit: Gary Quintal.
The failure to score goals and gets the win, more importantly not doing it at home are a concern.
There are many factors as to why NYCFC came up short during this four game stretch at home after beginning the season with a 4-3 win at Chicago in early March. Different line changes, playing tough defensive opponents and losing players to international competition may be a cause for the 0-3-1 early season home record.
Or, is this is a team that has not adapted to a new formation that Vieira has implemented? Either way, the 22,930 loyal fans who braved the cold weather wanted to see goals scored in the final minutes when NYCFC had those close opportunities as they dominated when it came to shots and having possession of the ball.
“Yeah, I mean as a team we are definitely getting better and better but it is still a frustration because it is our goal to win the game,” said Vieira. “And it’s frustrating we didn’t get the three points but it’s all about a matter of time before we wil the first home game and I’m not really worried about it.”
Anthony Ramos, actor from Hamilton sings the National Anthem before Sunday’s NYCFC match against the Chicago Fire. (Photo: Gary Quintal)
However with a fan base that needs to build there may be cause to worry. The soccer crowd is enthusiastic in the Bronx, and they generally don’t boo with displeasure, but in the end it amounts to getting goals and winning at home. The hope is that Vieira and his squad will compile some points in the standings before they return to the Bronx with back-to-back games April 27 and 30 against Montreal and Vancouver.
“If play the way we’ve been playing and the support of the fans tonight, it was fantastic and the win will come,” said Viera when asked further about failing to win before the home crowd.
David Villa, NYCFC. takes control. Photo credit: Gary Quintal.
And in defense of the coach, who is attempting to get the proper nucleus of talent on the field, his team had three previous close and tight games at home against Toronto, Orlando and New England. However the same comments and recurring theme have been a part of his post game meetings with the media.
Where there be a difference when NYCFC returns to Yankee Stadium after their next two games at Columbus and Philadelphia?
“The pressure is always on even if we had won our first five games the pressure would would be on for that sixth game,” said David Villa. The star forward has not had much of an impact in the first four games and was stopped after two good chances a minute apart in the second half.
One opportunity was a free kick from the outside of the left edge of the box. The Chicago defense pushed the ball away and once again Villa and NYCFC were denied. So perhaps bad breaks have also contributed to not getting important points in the early going of the home schedule.
“It was a really complicated game from the start,” said defender Ronald Matarrita. “We created a few chances but the only thing that is missing if finishing the final play. Finishing the play is the most important thing and what every team needs.We are missing in the final third and tonight we add points but at the same time is not the same the we had in mind.”
Correctly said, because in the end a win means more points. And when the final stretch of games comes in mid September and early October, not getting appropriate points now could mean missing the MLS post season party. One thing that New York City FC wants to avoid is getting shut out of the playoffs, and more importantly that is crucial to their fan base.
He added, “It’s obvious that it worries us that we are always playing to win and even though the games haven’t turned out how we expected and have been more complicated, but like I said we have to have the maturity and professionalism to accept we are not doing great and increment our level and show a better level.”
Though there are critics regarding Vieira and his system of constantly changing formations, the players and Matarrita are not faulting their coach for the lack of scoring and getting those important points in the standings.
Photo credit: Gary Quintal.
“He is an excellent coach, we already know his quality as a coach and mental quality,” offered Matarrita. “He plans the game how it needs to be but we also need to accept that the other team comes over to do their game. We are not playing alone and we have to to accept the versatility of the other team.”
They say the points will come, that the mentality is the same. But for fans, who are loyal and want to see a win and not a tie, patience at times is not a virtue.
“The points will come as long as we continue to focus on both aspects of our game,” said forward Tony Taylor. And for NYCFC and their fans, time will tell before they return for those consecutive home games later this month in the Bronx.
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