By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor
NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira viewed a 1-1 tie to Montreal Saturday afternoon as disappointing and frustrating. It didn’t help that cold conditions at Yankee Stadium made the task more difficult for both teams but this was a game they had and in the MLS ties are as good as the loss.
With the addition of newcomers, this is a team that should be able to defend a lead in the late minutes and also score more goals with last season MVP David Villa and newcomer Rodney Wallace, who scored a goal in the home opener win last Sunday.
Wallace scored the lone goal with two minutes left in the half. Montreal was coming off a tough draw with Seattle last week and they also have five Argentinian players that can defend well. However it is plain and simple. If NYCFC wants to make an impact early in the schedule, well they need to score more and defend.
Villa was absent from being an impact. Last week, he was. He had a three regular season home match scoring streak snapped and prior to the game, Villa had scored in five of his last six regular season home matches. And though the season is a tough grind of ups and downs this NYCFC team will admit there is always a need for improvement.
“Yeah, we’re really frustrated because we think we should have won this game,” Viera said.
“But this is a game of football. If you don’t take your chances, you will most likely leave the door open for the patient team and Rodney’s goal, he deserved it. He deserved it because of the way he’s working for the team.”
Last year after their first three matches, NYCFC was off to a 1-1-1 start, so there is no reason to panic.
Wallace and his teammates had the rough and fun practice sessions during the week at their SUNY Purchase training facility. It was a bitter cold week and with over a foot of snow piled on the SUNY turf, much of it was wiped to the side but still evident. The fun came after practice and this team feels that a win in grasp was no fun after coming out of the match with a tie.
NYCFC kept their undefeated streak at home, 8-0-2-1 in their last 10 regular season matches and that includes outscoring their opponents 29-10. And for the second straight year, Dominic Oduro scored a goal against NYCFC at Yankee Stadium and that one caused the tie.
Wallace has two goals in the first two matches at home, the first time that has been done in the three years of NYCFC existence.
He said, ““It’s very frustrating. I thought we dominated the game. We had a lot more shots on goal and defended well and at the end of the day these are games we want to win unfortunately the result did not go our way but the positive is we played a good game and did not lose so it’s a lot to build from”
The positives were NYCFC creating chances and plenty of attacks. But the defense was not there and that that was more of a concern. They always make a point of playing well before the home crowd and as usual they stayed until the end, all 18,515 of them who braved the cold and light snow that began to fall on the Yankee Stadium turf.
“Today we create and only scored one, and of course there’s frustration and we have to keep working because the best way to improve and to score all the goals that we create in games is to keep working hard,” said Vieira. “ I don’t have any doubt about the talent, but it’s important for us to take chances because we are not going to create a lot of chances like that every game, so those chances that we create, we need to score on those.”
They have two weeks to rid the frustration and disappointment. Perhaps against San Jose at home, Saturday afternoon April 1 they will know more about themselves.
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