The New York City Football Club lost another heartbreak in late game fashion as they fell to Orlando SC with just seconds remaining in bonus time 2-1. The team, which has now lost four of the last five has lost each match at the 75th minute or later, which raised concerns as to their late game performance, however Head Coach Nick Cushing acknowledged injuries are playing a huge factor. “I think the concern is the injuries that we have. We have big injuries: Keaton Parks, Alexander Callens, we lost Thiago Martins again today. It was only weeks ago that we had [CF] Montréal and [FC] Dallas away, and we were defending our positive results in those moments. We just have to get back to that.”
In a water logged pitched from torrential rain, the team fell behind early, giving up a top left corner shot at the 8th minute to Junior Urso for his 4th goal of the season. For much of the first half New York played on it’s heels, mustering only one shot to Orlando’s 7. However momentum changed almost immediately in the second half, capped by a Maxi Moralez shot to the bottom right corner at the 53rd minute for his second of the year and a much needed 1-1 tie. However injuries and a taxing upcoming schedule may have played a factor as the team seemed to be playing for a tie vs a win to conserve stamina. Both Moralez and Maxime Chanot received yellow cards late for delay of game. But with literal seconds to play in the match, Tesho Akindele knocked in a header off a corner kick past goalkeeper Sean Johnson at 90′ + 6′ for the game winner.
It might have only been a loss of a point, but it was a rough start to a brutal three weeks, with a total of 7 matches across 21 days including the Campeones Cup against Atlas on September 14. But for now the team remains in 3rd place, 1 point ahead with 1 match in hand against fourth place New York Red Bulls. Next up they’re at “home” at Red Bull Arena to face last place D.C. United on Wednesday.
1) This is a rough time for the team to be devastated by injuries. With the upcoming schedule Keaton Parks, Alex Callens and Alfredo Morales were all out with lower body injuries while Thiago Martins left early as well. His status is unknown.
2) The team was also without midfielder Santiago Rodriguez due to yellow card accumulation. This could be a small silver lining, as he will be rested and available for Wednesday.
3) With the 6 games remaining on this stretch, 4 will be at home in some regard with one at Red Bull Arena, one at Citi Field and two at Yankee Stadium. This season NYCFC is 8-2-3 at home.
4) D.C. United has struggled this season. At 22 points in 27 games they are dead last in MLS this season by a full 4 points. August has been particularly tough on the team, going 0-5-1 in the month.
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