NYCFC boss Kreis calls for more from Poku

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by CHRISTIAN ARAOS

Although his two goals salvaged a point for New York City FC in its match against the Columbus Crew last night, Kwando Poku has left something to be desired from Head Coach Jason Kreis.

“He’s an important player for us right now,” Kreis said “He’s making critical plays for us in the attacking half of the field, so I’m really, really pleased with that. But I also know there’s still improvement to be made defensively.”

Poku has started the last two games as an attacking midfielder, notching three goals and an assist for NYCFC as it picked four points against fellow Eastern Conference playoff contenders DC United and Columbus Crew SC. This was the first time all season that Poku has started consecutive games for NYCFC and only the fifth time he has received the distinction.

“Just working with these players around me has given me confidence,” Poku said. “I have the ability and I can do it, so I should keep going.”

The team remains unbeaten in matches Poku starts.

Poku first appeared for NYCFC off the bench as a central midfielder. He played inconsistently and only made one start in that position before recently moving into a more advanced role. If Poku does satisfy Kreis’ with improved defensive play, he could move back to central midfield to partner with Andrea Pirlo in place of the defensive minded Andrew Jacobson. The Pirlo-Poku partnership has blossomed early on as Poku’s athleticism matches well with Pirlo’s distribution. Additionally, Poku playing in a deeper role would allow Frank Lampard to slot into a central attacking role and save Kreis from a selection dilemma once Lampard is match fit.

For the moment, Poku is more than happy staying in his advanced role for NYCFC.

“I am in there, to create and score some goals, so it has been good,” Poku said.


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  • Jason Kreis

    Yes, Poku leaves a lot to be desired.

    Lampard, on the other hand, is exceptional.

    Grabavoy too.

  • Green Apple

    re: the title
    cc the editor

    The headline should read “Man City 3”, not “NYCFC”.

    • storms

      I wish this team was Man City 3 (what happened to 2 btw?), they might actually win some games

    • RedBallz

      Waaaaaaaaaaaaah. I hate it when another team spends money. And they are owned by another team…..waaaaah they’re not a real franchise like one bought to advertise an energy drink………waaaaaaaaaaaaah.

      • storms

        they aren’t even owned by another team – people here need to read up on how corporations/holdcos work

        • slowleftarm

          According to Pellegrini it’s all the same team. And what happened with Fat Frank last season is pretty good evidence that’s true. I don’t think it’s a big deal but no sense pretending they aren’t at least de facto owned by Man City.

  • too tight jeans

    What is Kreis’s problem? I understand pushing your guys get them to play/be better and all that. But every game that I’ve seen where Poku has started, he’s been, if not the best player on the field, the second best. The guy’s a beast, he’s skilled and athletic. And he’s payed absolutely fantastic. He’s playing as a second striker/attacking mid and has dominated. And, I’ve seen him track back 80 yards to try to win balls back.

    • Rip

      I can’t help but wonder if this is him telling Poku that he wants him to improve defensively so he can put him back in the defensive midfield instead of Jacobsen so Lampard can move up front. I hope note….but that’s the only thing I can figure.


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