Hometown Heartbreak NYCFC Loss

By Carlos DeJesus

Looking to bounce back from a string of incomplete performances, NYCFC sought steady footing at home after recent stumbles. Lacking luster Saturday against the Columbus Crew, they failed to bounce back Wednesday night, suffering a rare loss at home. No longer unbeaten on their home ground at Yankee Stadium, they succumbed to the New England Revolution in their first home defeat.

A 1-0 loss against a dull seventh placed side who hadn’t tasted victory since June. “We’ll figure it out.” said goalkeeper Sean Johnson “We’re in a position now where, thankfully, we’ve picked up a decent amount of points early on, but we’ve got to keep it going”

The Blues opened with the high octane energy that is accustomed to seeing in the Bronx, shredding the poorly disciplined New England back line with plenty of intent but zero killer instinct. The tiki-taka one touch soccer was ever pleasant to the eye, but without the class finish felt like being treated to a five-star meal without the ability to swallow.

“Today they played really well” said NYCFC coach Domenec Torrent “The difference is you have to be clinical when you have the chance.”

Credit: USA Today Sports

The Revolution were left to the one-dimensional attack of the long ball, unable to crack the code of the Citizens defense. Barely possessing the ball and lost on the pitch, the visitors were invited to stay in the game by a wasteful New York side. With the game scoreless at the half and 11 shots bearing no fruit, it alluded to the familiar heartbreak known all too well for this Bronx outfit.

Tonight, the first half, we were fortunate to be 0-0 at halftime” said Revolution Coach Brad Friedel “I think they were the better team”

The second half started no different, all flash and no substance with the edge of your seat offensive display continuing to baffle in its in completion. Beautiful fluttered passes and one touch through balls got the crowd on their feet, only to have them sit with a quick thud. Eighteen shots and no goals by the hour mark, the Citizens showed no signs of letting up.

I think we were coming up with big plays on both sides” said Johnson “New England walks away with the result today after not playing particularly well and that’s all that really matters, results.”

In the 71st minute with 22 shots on record and only four on target for New York, fate had its day and down fell a ricocheted ball on a platter for New England’s Brian Wright. Leading to the first goal of his young MLS career, and the end of a brilliant home record for NYCFC.

  New York City defender Anton Tinnerholm (3) defends against New England Revolution forward Cristian Penilla (70) during first half at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

“The keeper cleared the ball right to me and I just got my left foot right through.” said Wright “It was an unbelievable feeling to be quite honest, knowing it was the game-winner but also to help the team.

Dampened but showing no quit, the Blues picked up where they had left off, showing fight and great build up but producing nothing to change the goose egg on the scoreboard. Time winding down and desperation setting in as the 28 shots were left unanswered, the reality of the sixth  perfect home season in MLS history came to an unlucky end.

As for what comes next, Things are getting tighter down the stretch” said Johnson “so figuring out how to win on the road is going to be huge going into the playoffs.” Even after a home loss, the brilliance of the Blues at home is not in question, the question is can they bring that shine with them on the road?


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