NYCFC snap its streaks at the right time

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by CHRISTIAN ARAOS

New York City FC snapped both its seven-game winless streak and a five-game home winless streak with the win against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The win could not have come at a better time.

The games in March and April may seem inconsequential, but if you don’t win any of them, you miss the playoffs. We saw that with NYCFC last season.

But for this season’s squad, the win was also delayed gratification.

“We feel like there are games where we deserve the three points,” Thomas McNamara said,”especially the one from Wednesday night, so obviously it feels good to come away with three points. We need to build off of that.”

City have ten points through nine matches this season. They had eleven when they won for the second time in their first 14 matches in 2015. With the team’s next three matches against playoff teams on the road, the winless streak looked more than likely to last if they hadn’t learned their lessons.

“We have developed since last year and I want us to keep growing and getting better,” Mix Diskerud said. “Most games we have not had the margins with us.  We wanted to get the first home win in front of the crowd; It’s important because they mean so much to us. It’s tough when you think you deserved more wins but we stick together trained hard, and stuck to our philosophy. I think the attitude at training has been great this whole time.”

Last year, City needed to collect 38 points or nearly two points per game to match Toronto FC‘s total of 49. They gathered 26. To get to 49 in 2016, they need 1.56 points per game. That’s the Montreal Impact‘s current form. But if you follow McNamara and Diskerud’s logic, then NYCFC are a few moments away from having 14 points through nine games than 11.

“I was waiting for this win for quite some time and the players as well,” head coach Patrick Vieira said. “You can see from the last ten minutes it was so tense from the players and even us from the bench. You can see it from working with the players everyday, the way they work week after week—they deserve to win the game. I’m really proud of the team because when you come out of the last 3 games from the past couple of weeks and manage to play the way they played, it was fantastic.”

This is all an optimistic look at the big picture. The ‘presents’ given to the Impact and the Whitecaps this week were errors contenders do not commit.

It is a tough lesson to learn in concentration for a team that featured eight players 25 or younger yesterday.

“We wouldn’t have a chance [if we didn’t stay positive],” David Villa said. “Today we are nine games in. If we don’t stay positive, we are dead. We stay positive when we win obviously, but if we lose or draw as well. We have a lot of games to look forward to. In this league, you have a chance to make the playoffs almost to the last day with 12 teams making the playoffs so we stay positive going forward.”