There are draws that feel like victories, and draws that feel like defeats. Tonight’s 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution feels a lot more like the latter than the former.
The Revs came into the game winless in their last nine road games. They depart winless in their last 10, but you wouldn’t have put it past them to swipe all three points down the stretch. New York City were generally lackluster and tired-looking in the second half.
The Blues came into tonight’s game fresh off a 3-1 whipping at the hands of Atlanta United. Thanks to a yellow-card accumulation suspension, midfielder Alexander Ring was the only player who played Sunday who didn’t play tonight; club cult player Tommy McNamara took his place in the lineup.
At first, New York City FC looked lively, taking the game to the Revs. That early pressure paid off. In the 16th minute, David Villa added more footage to his MLS highlight reel. El Guaje used the New England midfield and backline as a series of training cones, before setting up Jack Harrison with what will be one of the easiest goals he’ll ever score.
The goal is Harrison’s sixth of the year, and gave New York City the 1-0 lead.
But it wouldn’t last. Six minutes later, Kei Kamara got himself on the end of a lovely Lee Nguyen feed, coming off the set piece. Kamara’s header leveled the score at one goal apiece.
The first half ended that way, with New York City looking the more likely to score, but showing some signs of weariness. The Blues were happy to play the game at a slow pace in the back and in their own half, only picking up the pressure once they crossed midfield.
The second half showed more of the same, until manager Patrick Vieira decided to shake things up. He replaced McNamara with midfielder Miguel Camargo in the 61st minute. The substitution looked to pay off, with Camargo scoring his first MLS goal scarcely three minutes later off an exquisite cross by Maxi Moralez.
With the score 2-1, Vieira then decided to fortify his defense by substituting Harrison with defender Frederic Brillant in the 69th minute. But it didn’t pay off.
New England stepped up their attacking play, and in the 86th minute, their efforts were rewarded. Kelyn Rowe delivered an inch-perfect cross to Laglais Kouassi. Kouassi essentially drifted in unmarked by any New York City defender, and scored the equalizer.
Vieira immediately substituted John Stertzer for Rodney Wallace, but New York City were unable to break down a packed Revs defense in the brief time remaining.
Next up for New York City: another game on short rest. They take on the Philadelphia Union at 1 PM at Yankee Stadium. This promises to be a real test, given that the Union have markedly improved since the teams first met earlier this year — a game you’ll remember mostly for Villa’s 50-yard bomb.