New York City Football Club is not looking so great these days after a tantalizing start to the season. They have gone winless in their last ten games, and when players or coaches are asked about the frustrating performances it sounds like a broken record repeating the same key phrases. Head Coach Jason Kreis has stated to the media that in general “The play has been there, we’re just lacking in finishing.”
Statistically in terms of possession, and attempts over the last ten games NYCFC has been the better team, but a lack of cohesion and unity have prevented them from breaking through, or capitalizing on chances. There is an impression when hearing the player interviews that someone needs to crack the whip because you can hear the frustration as players essentially repeat what their coach has told the media.
No one expected the first season of an expansion team, especially one formed out of thin air and Middle Eastern money to bust out of the gate and own the league, save maybe the season ticket holders. The droves of fans that come to support the team average third in the league in home attendance at about 20,000 per match. The team has not performed to, or reflected that dedication.
Designated player and team captain David Villa is visibly frustrated on the pitch when a lack of creativity, or awareness leads to a missed opportunity for him, or other forwards when looking to make an attack. On the rare occasion they manage to get in the offensive zone, get a pass into the box, or make a run on goal no one shows up to finish, and score.
New York has been shut out in three of their last six matches, and has yet to score more than two goals in a match. In the end this team has a lot of potential to do better, but in a lot of ways they remind me of the New York Knicks in the way they were put together. The role players under achieve, and the marquee names cannot carry the team by themselves.
The issues that New York faces fall at the feet of Jason Kreis, and it’s his responsibility to piece them together, and set it right. In the end he is well aware that he must galvanize the team, motivate them, make them perform, but he may also consider adjusting his process, or his system to best fit the talent that he has. The best coaches know this, and work tirelessly to not only get the best out of their players, but also work to their strengths so that they can win.
Hopefully he knows ALL the members of his team because it takes more than a few that he may have history with to come out on top. Time will tell if this team can turn it around, and build on confidence generated by winning. NYCFC’s upcoming matchup will be its second this season against the Huston Dynamo.
New York met Huston during preseason competing in the Carolina cup. They lost the match 2-1, but at the time much of it was chalked up to fitness and learning to get to know each other. It will be interesting to see what excuses may be developed if the team cannot pull out a win at home on May 30th.
The Huston Dynamo currently sits out of playoff position in the stacked Western Conference, and it’s not for a lack of trying, as they’ve been able to tally 16 goals so far this season. New York will hopefully expose Huston’s backline, which has been lacking in its composure so far this season. NYCFC will need to truly come together and perform if they expect to win on Saturday.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, May 30th.