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Two Ways NYCFC Can Start Winning Again

Because #DomeOut seems to be too easy...

New York City FC v Atlanta United FC: Eastern Conference Semifinals - Leg 2 Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

To be honest, I’m still reeling from New York City FC’s embarrassing 4-0 loss to Toronto FC a few days ago. But the show must go on. And since my #DoméOut pitch obviously didn’t work, I guess it’s time to talk about other options moving forward.

This goes without saying, but I don’t expect any of the following two “solutions” to be all-curing elixirs seeing as I have absolutely no confidence in Domé’s ability to manage this team. But, it’s worth a shot.

Use two defensive midfielders

MLS: D.C. United at New York City FC Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Through the first handful of games, NYCFC has been using star academy product James Sands as the sole defensive pivot while Maxi Moralez and Alexander both have the freedom to roam as they see fit.

As good as Sands has been, this approach has been costly for City as two of the three midfielders have often been caught out in advanced positions, leaving Sands on an island and forced to fend for himself in transition. The rout in Toronto was the proof in the pudding that this needs to stop. Like, right now.

I’m not gonna argue that it’s been nice seeing Ring score a pair of goals this early in the season. But the fact remains that he has been one of, if not the best defensive midfielder in league for the better part of two years. And paired with Sands, this midfield has the potential to become even more defensively potent.

This effectively changes Domé’s strange (and ineffective) 4-3-3 into a 4-2-3-1.

It’s time to give Mata his spot back

This genuinely hurts to say. But I think this team has tactically moved on from Ben Sweat. Once upon a time, the American full back was just as serviceable as Ronald Matarrita. Unfortunately, things have changed and the system now relies upon more athleticism, which is exactly what Mata will bring at the left back position.

Early on this season, Sweat has struggled moving up and down the left flank. And in order to ensure that Mitrita & Co. are given the service they need to succeed, something needs to change.