NYCFC Resumes Its Search for Consistency

Photograph by Matt Kremkau

By CHRISTIAN ARAOS

NYCFC logoAfter their emotional win on Sunday, New York City FC has the day off Monday. Then its a return to training where Coach Patrick Vieira is already vowing to make it one of the toughest weeks of preparation this season.

“I told the players that I want them to enjoy the game and the result,” Vieira said after the 3-2 win over the New York Red Bulls. “When we go back on Tuesday, we have to keep our feet on the ground and go harder than we did last week. It is important to maintain this kind of performance then details will make the difference in the game. Since the beginning of the season, what we need to improve is our commitment and hard work game-after-game then the details will make a difference.”

For all his personable and approachable nature, Vieira has always been one to assert authority over his group. Only now Vieira is ramping up the intensity and his calls for new signings, convinced that his team is better than it has been at any point in the past and closer to a deep playoff run than before. The only way the team realizes its ambitions, however, is by making performances like Sunday’s the norm.

“Getting consistent results is fundamental toward getting to the level that the mister said,” Maxi Moralez said. “But the other team that played had a good run of form but we got three important points at home against a difficult rival. We have to continue this against Los Angeles [Saturday, Aug. 12] so we can continue climbing.”

Much has been made NYCFC not having lost back-to-back games since April 2016, but its only won back-to-back games twice this season. The rest of August bodes well for the Pigeons to collect the points that would at the least, virtually assure them of a playoff place — while also keeping them close to Toronto FC and the Chicago Fire in the race for the Supporters Shield. Their third game against at the Red Bulls on Aug. 25 is the only one this month against a top-six team in either conference.

“We understood the importance not just for what it meant to the city in regards to the derby but where we were in the standings,” Sean Johnson said. “I’m not sure in the past years how it has been in regards to how close to teams have been at the time of the derby but they were two points behind us so it was very important for us to come away with the win to create that separation and get closer to the number one spot.”

Both the Red Bulls and Atlanta United lurk five points behind City with each having played one less game. The best way for New York City to solidify its standing is to collect full points against the Red Bulls and the New England Revolution, whom they host on Aug. 20.

Should City win all its games this month, it would be above the points per game pace FC Dallas set last year when it won the Shield. Though not the ultimate prize, the trophy would be the first and further the case for NYCFC to be considered a big club.

“We are not a big team yet,” Vieira said. “A big team plays every week like today and we’re not able to do it at the moment. This game was fantastic, we won the game, we took the three points but I expect more consistency from the team.”