by Christian Araos
New York City FC lost its third straight game in Arizona and struggled to create chances against the Colorado Rapids in the Desert Diamond Cup on Wednesday night.
City rotated its attack and midfield with designated players David Villa and Maxi Moralez not dressed for the game. That meant a front three of Jalen Brown, Sean Okoli and Khiry Shelton that could not generate opportunities for themselves against a full-strength Rapids defense. NYCFC rotated its defense, but conceded a goal through sloppiness as a botched clearance led to Sam Cronin scoring the only goal of the game just before halftime.
NYCFC’s only quality chances came from its midfielders. Thomas McNamara nearly curled a shot in from the left wing during the first half and Andrea Pirlo put a long free kick on frame but Zac MacMath was able to parry both attempts. The attack looked more likely to create chances once Miguel Camargo replaced Brown after 55 minutes. The Panamanian international’s debut at left wing did not have an impact on the score but he was smart with the ball at his feet in making sure the team kept possession and made timely connections with left back Kwame Awuah.
James Sands played the final eighteen minutes at center back but was largely untested. The youngster Shannon Gomez played the first 69 minutes at right back and had a bright start but was quiet for much of the match. Eirik Johansen played the entire match in goal.
City wraps up its preseason Saturday against Sporting Kansas City.