1. Quality > Quantity
If you’re an NYCFC supporter, you were well aware of the lack of depth heading into last night’s match vs. Sporting KC. Due to suspensions, international duty and injuries, New York City were not able to pick a full team sheet. In most cases, a club has 11 players on the field and seven on the bench adding up to a full 18; on Wednesday, NYCFC only had six bench players. Two of the slots were maintained by goalkeepers who will realistically probably not touch the pitch once the ref blows the opening whistle, one spot on the bench was filled by 17-year-old James Sands, who has yet to make an appearance for the club, and the last three slots were filled by players who totaled just 206 minutes combined heading into Wednesday’s match. Despite the lack of experience and depth in general for that matter, NYCFC were able to compete and beat the best defensive side MLS has seen in recent years. This all helps prove the point that quality is far more important than quantity.
2. Not a one-man team
In NYCFC’s near-three year existence, one man has always stood out, and that is Spain’s all-time leading goal-scorer, the 2016 MLS MVP and the current leader in the Golden Boot race, David Villa. “El Guaje” has led the team in goals, as well as nearly every other offensive statistic, by a significant margin. This has led many to believe that New York City would be a train wreck without their main man. But one thing that Wednesday proved is that the club is full of exciting players from back to front. Three players out of NYCFC’s probable strongest back four were out with injury, yet the team still managed to keep a clean sheet, so even without El Guaje, we would have been ensured a point at the minimum.
Moving further up the pitch, you have NYCFC’s newest DP, Maxi Moralez. The little Argentinian can create something out of nothing, and he proved that on the night. Young winger Jonathan Lewis continues to make the case that he could get into most lineups around MLS. Jack Harrison once again came up when it counted most and showed the world his incredible ability. The technique on the game winning goal was near flawless from the young Englishman. Again, David Villa’s importance is impossible to stress enough, but the side proved that this is New York City FC, not David Villa FC.
New York City have turned the makeshift home (though less makeshift than Rentschler Field) that is Yankee Stadium into a fortress no club wants to visit. The win over Sporting KC marks the 10th straight match unbeaten in the Bronx. NYCFC have lost just one game at home this season, all the way back in April. The team has notched big wins on the road, but at home they’re a different animal. If this team can grab even a draw away from home in the playoffs, they’ll more than likely advance with a home win. And if David Villa steps up in the playoffs, New York City is near-unbeatable. Toronto will, of course, be the toughest test, and with revenge on the mind of each and every NYCFC player, we might see a much less embarrassing result vs. our Canadian neighbors this fall.