In the wake of the crushing 1-0 defeat against the New England Revolution, New York City Football Club look less and less likely to clinch a playoff spot.
Although the franchise is a new one, the NYCFC faithful is beginning to get frustrated with not only the results, but the manner in which the team plays. There seems to be a lack of leadership in the squad, as well as, possibly the biggest problem right now, horrible organization in the midfield and defense.
Now, this may have been acceptable earlier in the season, where none of the players had any experience of playing with each other, but now, over 20 matches into the season, eyebrows have been raised, and all fingers should be pointing at one man, Jason Kreis.
Kreis has had a good amount of managerial experience, specifically in the MLS, in managing Real Salt Lake for a total of six seasons. Salt Lake are considered as one of the MLS’ so called “bigger” franchises, but Kreis took the Salt Lake to the next level, by guiding them to an MLS Cup appearance, which they eventually lost against Sporting Kansas City on penalties.
On paper, appointing a loyal manager that has had vast experience in the MLS, seemed a great and logical idea for the NYCFC decision board.
So far, this decision has not worked out very well. NYCFC have won 6 out of 24 games in all competitions, which gives them a win rate of 25%. This, for any franchise, old or new, is not acceptable, especially when the team averages 20,000 supporters at every home game, as well as the highest average travelling crowd.
The main issue of this NYCFC squad, is its defensive backbone, and their positional and organizational troubles. Although Kreis has just recently made two very good signings in Angelino and Andoni Iraola, which will surely solidify the sky blue defense, the team has looked confused when defending at times.
Whether it is leaving gaps in between positions, or allowing attackers to run them inside out, the backline has been shocking all season. Some may argue that it is down to inexperience in the hands of the Shay Facey and Jason Hernandez partnership, but an average of one win in four is not good enough from a managerial perspective.
If NYCFC were to sack Jason Kreis, it would not be a disaster. A new franchise, in New York, that is sister club with what is currently one of the biggest team in Europe (Manchester City) has loads of appeal for an experienced manager. Who knows, maybe NYCFC may be better Kreis-less.