(Patrick Vieira – Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire)
NYC FC had a dispiriting outing on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, as they tied the New England Revolution 1-1.
This concludes a stretch of three games at home in which NYC FC got just two points out of a possible nine, as they got two ties in a draw and lost one game.
NYC FC Head Coach Patrick Vieira said of this, “Of course, we aim to do better than that. At the end, what I’m really disappointed about is the way we played, not the result. If you intend to win games, you need to play, and we didn’t do it today, so we couldn’t take anything more than a draw. I think when you analyze the game properly, we…happy with the point we take tonight because New England deserved more because they create better chances than we did. And of course, there’s something that we need to work on because three games at home, two points isn’t enough.”
NYC FC was without Mix Diskerud up front, as he was called away for international duty, so Kwadwo Poku was in the starting lineup for the first time all season.
Poku dictated the play in the center of the field, which inadvertently made Andrea Pirlo invisible. Part of New England’s game plan was to shut down Pirlo and David Villa.
NYC FC got off to a fast start, and got on the board early.
In the 10th minute, after a sideline throw-in, Tony Taylor had the ball approaching the crease and slipped on the sod put over the baseball infield dirt. The ball went to Tommy McNamara, who shot it off the crossbar, and the ball went back to him, and he buried it to make it 1-0.
Taylor said of what he saw building up to the play, “It was a throw in from Andoni (Iraola) that made its way to me. We made some combinations and Tommy threw a back heel to me and passed it back, and Tommy was able to finish with the goal.”
It stayed that way until the 38th minute, when NYC FC defender Andoni Iraola was given a yellow card and New England was awarded a free kick in the circle at the top of the crease.
New England’s Chris Tierney took the kick and shot it through an opening in the “wall” set up by the defense and that tied the game at 1.
In the 51st minute, Gershon Koffie went for a challenge on Thomas McNamara, and clipped his ankle as he dribbled past. McNamara hit the deck, and was writhing in pain.
Koffie was awarded a red card and ejected from the game.
The penalty seemed a little harsh. On those types of plays, especially when the ball is only a foot or so away, there is usually a yellow card given.
NYC FC had a man advantage for the rest of the game (11 players to 10), and did not take advantage at all. The New England defense kept them to the sides and they did not get many quality chances on net.
Patrick Mullins had one chance on a header late, and McNamara appeared to have a goal in the 92md minute that was waived off because Mullins was offsides.
McNamara said of not being able to score with the man advantage, “We had a long time that we were up a man and when you have that much time where they have 10 men and you have 11; you have to score. Obviously we have to work on that going forward.”
Vieira said of how New England stayed in the game playing down a player in the final 40 minutes, “I think we make it real easy for them because of the way we played. We didn’t have our normal passing, we didn’t have our normal discipline, and we didn’t respect our plan, and when you don’t do it, you make it easy for the opposing team, and I believe we made it easy for them.”
Taylor said of how the game changed after the red card, “I saw that they sat back more so we needed to put more pressure on them to get the game to open up. They were putting a lot less pressure on us in the second half. They were waiting for the counter attack with a long ball.”
Vieira said of their trouble creating chances, “I think it was just belive and stick to our philosophy and the way we want to play. I believe we played a little bit with a lack of personality and we didn’t make proper decisions.”
Vieira said of pulling Jefferson Mena, “That was a tactical decision…I just wanted four at the back because that was becoming a problem in the game. I just had to make a decision.”
Vieira said of this being a possible step back after improved play in each of the opening three games, “Yes, it may be a step back, so that’s why today is a very frustrating feeling becaues when we played our last game against Orlando (1-0 loss on March 18), I was positively disappointed because, of course, the way we played, we could have taken more from the game, and today, we didn’t play at all and we got the draw.”
“Vieira said on possibly regretting starting Mena, “I think it’s me and I have the responsibility and the one to choose the players that start the game and the system that we’re going to play. That’s my responsibility and I decided to change because I believe that we didn’t do well. I couldn’t take out Tony (Taylor) or (Steven) Mendoza or Andrea (Pirlo) or anybody else. I thought my decision was the best. “
Vieira was asked if he was happy with the three guys who came in, Diego Martinez, Patrick Mullins, and Mehdi Ballouchy, and their performances, and he gave a damning answer:
“Yes, but of course you want more. I don’t want to point the finger on any individual… it is a team. It is important for the players to understand that you express your talent through the collective. If the collective is not good it is difficult for any players to play. Today was a perfect example.”
McNamara said of failing to take the lead back, “We put a lot of effort into it to try and break through with that second goal but we just did not execute well enough.”
On if he was happy with his goal, McNamara said, “No; because of the result. I don’t really care if I’m on the score sheet at the end of the day the most important thing is to get those 3 points. I don’t think we accomplished our goal here today.”
Taylor said of NYC FC not scoring a 2nd half goal in the last three games, “Yeah, its tough, but it’s football. We need to keep working hard. We are getting good chances and the goals will come. We just need to stay positive and keep working.”