Now, people will say there are draws that feel like wins and draws that feel like a loss. I wonder, is there something worse than a loss? From the poor calls by the referee (our woes continue) to only being able to produce a high xG, this was simply a lackluster result.
New York City FC clearly came into this game with the goal of rectifying what happened on Wednesday. I thought the early moments saw NYCFC put on the pressure that almost resulted in an early goal by Keaton Parks — if only he had put it on target).
Throughout the first half, we did a decent job either stringing passes to pick apart New England Revolution, or catching them out with a long ball. In these moments I believe we saw the true brilliance of Gabriel Pereira, Santiago Rodríguez, and Richy Ledezma. They played pragmatically and with a focus on producing the best-attacking options from the balls played into them.
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Now, I don’t know what happened between Wednesday and today, but this trio clearly practiced their long shots. Pereira forced a spectacular save from Đorđe Petrović (more on the Serbian momentarily) and Ledezma very nearly found his first goal for NYCFC from a rocket that deflected off the bar. This whole period of the first half could only be described as hands behind the head and mouthing “how” repeatedly to yourself.
As the second half began my theory of practicing radical hope and optimism made me believe that we would leave this game with at least one goal.
Oh, how these hopes were dashed as NYCFC seemed to quickly run out of steam and ideas, and had a really poor showing overall. I didn’t feel like the team were exhibiting the same attacking threat that produced chances in the first half. Plus, if they did show moments of those similar moments from the first half and NYCFC found themselves with a sight on goal, the Serbian wall that is Petrović made sure that they showed why he’s considered one of the best keepers in the MLS. From the Pereira save in the first half to key saves in the second, that man was determined to keep a clean sheet. Clearly the man of the match, he single-handedly ensured that the Revs walked out of the Bronx with a point.
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Besides this brilliance from Petrović, New York City were kneecapped by the officials for the next game after a red card was shown to Braian Cufré. Now, I try to never talk ill of officials because I was a ref as a kid. I get it. However, when you need to watch a replay several times you should automatically be forced to reassess your call. Especially after seeing, clearly, that Cufré not only played the ball but that there was no malice when they stepped on Jones’ foot.
With Thiago Martins out with injury, Tayvon Gray ineligible per an MLS edict, and Maxime Chanot potentially out after suffering a knock in this game, the loss of Cufré could see a continuation of our poor away form.
So, NYCFC fans, grab a pillow, scream into it, and hope for some good fortunes on the road.