NYCFC looks to catchup after taking ‘step back’

BRavo Villa NYCFC

by Christian Araos

Patrick Vieira and his players admitted New York City FC took a ‘step back’ in its draw with the New England Revolution Saturday afternoon.

“It was frustrating because the last game against [Orlando City] I was positively disappointed,” Vieira said. “Today, we didn’t play at all. You can only control your performance. Our performance wasn’t good at all.”

Throughout the first month of the season, Vieira has empathized getting NYCFC to play the right way more than getting the result. Though City dropped points in its previous two home matches before Saturday, Vieira was pleased with the team’s performance in those games. A third straight game without a win at home changed the tone.

“When you analyze the game properly,” Vieira said, “we are happy with the point that we took tonight because New England deserved more from the game. They created better chances than we did and that’s something we need to work on because two points from three home matches is not good enough for a football club like New York City.”

NYCFC have led the possession statistics in each of their matches, created more chances than their opponents in three of their four matches but only have five points. Despite having the man advantage for most of the second half, New York City only recorded two shots on target in the second half. It is the third game in-a-row City has failed to score in the second half.

“Yeah, its tough, but it’s football,” Tony Taylor said. “We need to keep working hard. We are getting good chances and the goals will come. We just need to stay positive and keep working.”

Taylor and Steven Mendoza were each singled out by Vieira after the game for not providing enough support in defense. That forced Jefferson Mena farther wide than the centerback would prefer leaving gaps along NYCFC’s left side that could have led to goals were it not for poor finishing from the Revolution. Mena would be substituted for Diego Martinez after 30 minutes as Vieira switched to a back four.

“It is important for the players to understand that you express your talent through the collective,” Vieira said. “If the collective is not good it is difficult for any players to play. Today was a perfect example.”

Mena was the only one out of the four players to make their first appearance of the season Saturday who did not play in preseason. Unlike in 2015, team cohesion is not an issue. Through a month, the issue remains getting up to speed on Vieira’s tactics.

“We spend a lot of time learning the systems that we want to play and the style we want to play,” Thomas McNamara said, “and I think we should know it by now.”

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