(NYC FC’s Andrea Pirlo tries to gain an advantage / USA Today Sports)
The New York City Football Club season is all but over, as they suffered a crushing 2-1 defeat to DC United on Friday night at a rainy RFK Stadium.
NYC FC falls to 10-15-7 with 37 points, and is now five points behind the Montreal Impact, 12-11-6, 42 points. NYC FC has just two games left, so the most points they can get is 43. Montreal still has five games left and needs just two points (two ties or one win) to eliminate NYC FC.
The game started off very well for New York City, as Frank Lampard kicked in a rebound off a David Villa strike in the first minute of the game to make it 1-0.
The game stayed that way for a while, as each tea struggled to bring the ball up the field on the soggy pitch. DC had a few quality chances in the first half, but couldn’t break through.
DC tied it in the 73rd minute on a strike by Fabian Espindola, and they kept chipping away in search of the winner.
In the 92nd minute, they broke through when Alvaro Saborio blasted one past NYC FC goalie Josh Saunders to make it 2-1 DC.
It was a huge win for United (14-12-6), as they move into a first place tie with the Red Bulls (14-9-6) for first place with 48 points. The Red Bulls host the Columbus Crew on Saturday night.
New York City FC Head Coach Jason Kreis said of the overall result, “I’m obviously shattered right now. What a great start by us, to score early like we did, but as the game wore on, I thought to myself that sometimes you can score too early. After the first goal, I felt that our guys maybe thought it was going to be a little easier than it was. In the second half, I thought we came out real sluggish, and credit to D.C. because they were putting us under a lot of pressure, putting a lot of balls in and around our penalty box. We had to deal with a lot of corner kicks as well, so I always felt like the dam was getting ready to break. But, I did think the guys put another incredible effort out there, and I just couldn’t be any happier with their effort and their commitment level has been fantastic.”
Kreis said of the chemistry between Lampard, Pirlo and Villa, “I think that those three players, in particular, have started to really link up quite well with each other, and it is unfortunate now that perhaps we won’t be able to carry this into a playoff run, but what we have is what I think is something that is special to build on.”
Kreis said of the team’s mindset after D.C. United’s first goal, “We were going for the full points. 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.”
New York City FC Midfielder Andrew Jacobson said of the team’s future this season, “It is something we can’t really think about. 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.”
On mixing together different players on the same field, Jacobson said, “It takes time. We have great players. It is hard to bring it all together and immediately know how exactly we are going to play and how guys are going to fit in. I think we are starting to gel and you can see that on the field.”
Jacobson said of the uniqueness of the current squad, “There have been some changes. I think teams make changes. I have been on teams that have made a lot of changes. To be honest I just try to come in every day, work hard and do what is asked of me.”