Shift in System Key to NYCFC Momentum?

By Carlos De Jesus IV

Contributor NySportsday

After a disappointing March, NYCFC strung together back to back victories in a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire Wednesday night. Returning to Yankee Stadium fresh off shutting out D.C. United in their own building, the Pigeons returned home not only with new found rhythm but a newly adjusted system.

“It depends on the opponents we are facing” coach Dome Torrent said “but the matches where we have used this system have been successful.”

 Referee Robert Sibiga (right) issues a yellow card to Chicago Fire midfielder Mo Adams (19) in front of New York City midfielder Maximiliano Moralez (10) during the first half at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
 New York City midfielder James Sands (16) battles for the ball with Chicago Fire midfielder Jeremiah Gutjahr (33) during the second half at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

That would be the recently revealed 3-4-3 attack, where the wingers drop to make a back five in defense. With the ever strengthening trio of Ofori, Ring and Sands powering the engine room, the defense is strong enough to hold while allowing a volatile free flowing counter-attack. A new identity looks to be taking hold, one that sets the players free while providing comfort in defense.

We’re all comfortable.” keeper Sean Johnson said “We’re three games into the system and I think we have an intelligent group that’s able to take on principles rather quickly and execute them, we’ve done a pretty good job of that.”

If you don’t believe him take a look at the numbers. Through the first five games of the season the Blues only scored four goals while surrendering eight. After switching to the 3-4-3 system for three games they have scored six and surrendered only three.

They also dismantled one of the best teams in MLS while visiting D.C., shutting out United in their own city while letting the attack fly. “If you look at the D.C. game we did it perfectly “said wingback Anton Tinnerholm “that is the way we want to play.

It seems the team identity this team has sorely craved since the departure of Patrick Vieira may have finally been discovered. One beautifully balanced in both defense and attack, NYCFC cannot wait to go again and keep their surge going as they get Orlando City on short rest Saturday afternoon in the Bronx.

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