NYCFC lose lead, match vs. D.C. as playoff hopes wither

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This is one loss New York City FC won’t soon forget.

With playoff contention in the balance, NYCFC could not close the doors on DC United at RFK Stadium, squandering a one goal lead late in the second half under heavy rains and tired legs.

Frank Lampard continued his hot streak, scoring the first goal of the evening under a minute into the first half. DC United, however, forced the traveling NYCFC into a defensive posture in the final minutes, breaking New York with an Alvaro Saborio winner at the death.

“We were going for the full points,” head coach Jason Kreis said after the match. “I think that it led to some guys being really tired. Our centerbacks had to deal with a lot of space, so I think that could have played a part in why we allowed their second goal. I think we were probably fatigued to make a play at that point.”

The result leaves puts DC United (14-6-12, 48 pts.) into the postseason, but leaves NYCFC (10-15-8, 38 pts.) with a bleak outlook for the playoffs. With just two games left, New York are six points from a playoff position. Sixth seed Montreal Impact (12-11-6, 42 pts.) enjoy three games in hand on City, playing one of the remaining five matches on Saturday against Orlando at the Citrus Bowl.

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As has been the case throughout the season, New York got off to a lively start only to fizzle out in the dying minutes of the second half. Just 45 seconds into the first half, a well-delivered cross in the area found Villa who took a quick touch and shot on Hamid. The DC keeper managed to stop the first attempt, but Lampard followed with a chip on the rebound to put New York ahead early.

DC United answered with half chances from Fabian Espindola and Chris Rolfe, but failed to challenge NYCFC in any meaningful way throughout the first half. Despite the absence of Shay Facey, out serving a suspension on yellow accumulation, Jefferson Mena and Jason Hernandez played a disciplined defense in front of Josh Saunders, repelling several DC forays into their third. As the defense stood tall, Villa challenged the DC net twice down the stretch, but missed his target.

United adjusted in the second, pressuring NYCFC who seemed content to just defend their first half lead. That proved to be a costly mistake by the visitors. A Chris Pontius shot on goal from the right forced Saunders into a diving save in the 73rd minute. Fabian Espindola was there to collect the ball and slot home past the prone Saunders to tie the match.

Hoping to inject life into the encounter, Jason Kreis subbed in Poku for Lampard, who enjoyed a stellar outing. His addition did little to lift the visitors. DC’s onslaught continued with a brilliant shot from Pontius from 35 yards out, forcing Saunders into a save. Minutes later, Villa earned a chance of his own, turning on a ball in the box and shooting wide.

The final dagger came in extra time, with Espindola delivering a pinpoint dead ball to the feet of Alvaro Saborio who controlled the chance, rode his defender and beat Saunders for the game winner.

NYCFC will have their eyes set on Saturday’s MLS fixtures. A Montreal win at Orlando and a Toronto tie or victory at home against Philadelphia will spell the death of the team’s postseason dreams.

““It is something we can’t really think about,” midfielder Andrew Jacobson said. “As long as we have a chance, we are going to keep going for it, and that’s all you can really do is just prepare for the next game.”

New York return to play on the 16th, facing Orlando City on the road.

 

  • Anonymous

    Next time we get a free kick, instead of letting Pirlo take it, we should just hand it to the opposing goalie so they can take their goal kick and save some wasted time.

    Not that his many shots at goal are ever on target, but even if they were, what is the chance of a goalie not being able to stop a sloppy kick from that far out? Especially when they know what he is going to do.

    • Anonymous

      Really? Pirlo is still top 20 in the world in free-kick accuracy and goals off of free-kicks. Juventus and Italy chose Pirlo to take their free-kicks for years. His free-kick earlier in the game was a chip right over the wall and nearly resulted in a goal for Villa. I watched the entire game from the front section and Pirlo played stellar, playing several dangerous passes that were just sloppily handled by his teammates.

    • Ali C is my man

      People who make dumb comments are anonymous for a reason because it prevents others from knowing who the dipshits really are.

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  • Cosmos luv

    I feel bad for those sexy Dps who have so much knowledge of the game but are sorrounded by mid talent players.
    For example, it’s nycfcs first season and I thought they would make the playoffs since the east sucks but outlook and lampard came too late.
    Even for next season, they both should leave or get a pay cut. Pirlo won’t be successful in mls due to his slow speed and his talent is too old and only good for his national team. Lampard is also too slow and will only get worse with his age, unless they seriously get fitted and stay healthy.
    Nycfc need to do something pirlo or lampard, cut the money or trade them to Europe.
    For now, congrats for your first season and next season will be a serious one, I can see kreis quitting or getting fired.

    • Rerun

      Pirlo had 2 free kicks,all alone, with no ‘mid talent’ players to bother him. He hit the first one over 10 feet clear of the crossbar and the second one 6 ft too high. He’s made so many awful passes this year I lost count. As far as Lampfart,he’s only now midly back in shape. Agreed they both need to hit the road.

    • Anonymous

      Pirlo has been slow pretty much his whole career, and it’s never bothered him before. It doesn’t take speed to control the ball or pass it into dangerous areas, both of which he still does masterfully, as you would know if you watched any of his games (other than the one against the Red Bulls). He will be even better next year once he gets completely used to the smaller fields of the MLS. Clearly you don’t understand the difference between technical ability and athleticism. Technical ability wins every time.

      • Anonymous

        He’s been below average all year. Ive watched almost every game, not to mention he’s a heart attack waiting to happen. His free kicks are dreadful.

  • Go ‘mos

    Pffffft they’re a joke in every way. City farm team.

  • Gluck Robert

    I’ve lost track. How many games this season have they blown in the last few minutes?

  • Ali C is my man

    Kreitz you subbed out our best player in the field Lampard why?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, it was no coincidence that both scores happened right after Lampard went off.

  • slowleftarm

    Let’s go Impact!

    • REAL OpenCupFan Knows mls bots are Suckers

      I knew you couldn’t tell the difference between McWendys.

      • slowleftarm

        How many at the lacrosse field this week? 3k?

        • REAL OpenCupFan Knows mls bots are Suckers

          How many employees in your McWendys NY outlet mocked Americans stranded in a London airport as a result of 9/11?

          • slowleftarm

            Fat Frank doesn’t play for my team. BTW, the answer to my question was 3326 so I guess 3k was a slight underestimate.

  • The Realist

    As a Red Bulls fan, I’d like to thank NYCFC and their fans for the near constant laughs they’ve given us since their inception.

    You guys are the best!

    Thank you and keep it up!

    • Ali C is my man

      Red Bulls ‘fans’ also gave us all a few laughs when Petke got fired and all the babies started having a hissy fit saying they weren’t going to renew their season tickets this year.

      • The Realist

        I agree. The Red Bull Out crowd are pretty funny too. You’re right on that count!

      • Still not renewing, compadre :)

        • The Realist

          And you’re entitled.

          But the guy who yelled “Don’t even say His Name!” At the 1st Town Hall meeting WAS pure comedy cold.

    • Rip

      As an NYCFC fan, I’d like to thank the Red Bulls for setting the bar so low. Every time I think of the disappointment of this season…..I think…it could be worse, you could have sucked for 20 years. And it’s been so easy to fill our stadiums with fans because the red and green fans are such douchebags that no one wants to go to their games. Thanks guys….you’ve been great.

      • slowleftarm

        Let’s see how long it lasts. You guys can be attendance champions all you want, I’m more concerned with success on the field.

  • Erving Merlin

    Sung to God bless America…??
    God bless boy city, although they stink
    Stand beside them and deride them
    Thru the smoke with a flare down below
    From the left field, to the infield
    To my chicken, raw to the bone
    God bless our farm team,the team is a joke
    God bless boy city, the team I love

  • David Carlin, Farm Animal Molester

    Knee pads should have been given out for
    All the leads NYCShitFC blew this year! Hahaha

  • William

    SNOOOZEFEST !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!