The winless streak is over for interim head coach Nick Cushing after New York City FC defeated New England Revolution 4-2 on a bright and warm Saturday afternoon in the Bronx. A bizarre first half at Yankee Stadium featured three penalty kicks for New York City, one of which was saved, and a red card for New England.
NYCFC took advantage of their numerical advantage and scored two second-half goals to bury the Revs. But New England didn't back down: The Revolution attacked even though they had only ten players, and striker Gustavo Bou found a way to score in the 77th minute.
It was not pretty, it was not normal, and it really does not matter for NYCFC at this point of the season: New York City simply needed a win in the worst way on Saturday. At the end of the day, NYCFC took all three points as they get ready to head to Texas and face FC Dallas on Wednesday.
NYCFC: 22 shots, 11 on goal, 59.9% possession, 600 passes, 87.5% accuracy, 10 fouls
New England Revolution: 10 shots, 6 on goal, 40.1% possession, 397 passes, 80.1% accuracy, 10 fouls
Magno does it all
For the first time under Nick Cushing, NYCFC looked dangerous from the start of the game and grabbed an early lead. Talles Magno almost singlehandedly created the opening goal by turning New England over in the midfield, getting into the penalty area, drawing a foul, and then burying the penalty kick.
First, Talles Magno forced a giveaway and drew the foul:
Then, he buried the penalty:
The turnovers forced by NYCFC attackers have stood out over these past couple of games. New York City’s forwards track back to fight for the ball in the midfield and defend on corners. There’s no better example than Taty Castellanos, whose two goals let him retake the lead in the Golden Boot race but who is one of New York City’s most aggressive defenders.
But Talles Magno continues to show that potential killer touch that continues to send many defenders flying to the ground. With the rumors heating up more and more by the day about Taty’s likely departure, Talles Magno will need to keep up his form and bury even more chances. Let’s just enjoy the win for now and not worry about things like that.
Gabriel Pereira subbed on, Santi Rodríguez shifted to No 10
When the halftime whistle sounded it looked like NYCFC were shot out of a cannon: The attack was flying all over the place, and in under five minutes second-half sub Gabriel Pereira found the back of the net to make it 3-1. Granted New England were playing with 10 men, but this was still the best New York City looked.
Here’s his goal:
When Gabriel Pereira was brought on at halftime and Maxi Moralez was subbed off, Santi Rodríguez shifted to the middle to take over the No 10 role. The move transformed the play on the field. Santi became more involved, and the NYCFC attack became even more dangerous. After the game, Cushing praised the depth of this squad and credited sporting director David Lee for building a team that allows for subs such as these.
“There are lots of young players that want to improve… David Lee has built a good roster,” Cushing said in the postgame press conference.
At this point, it seems like NYCFC have a printing press made for dynamic Brazilian attackers: The firepower from Talles Magno, Gabriel Pereira, and Thiago bring is never-ending. They are a joy to watch, and they bring results. NYCFC needs to create more goals created from open play, and Gabriel Pereira shows that he is perfect for that.
A win for the gaffer
Cushing can finally exhale as he now secured his first MLS win. He is not completely relaxing though. Cushing acknowledges that New York City need to refine their game. “It’s refreshing to coach a team that wants to improve,” Cushing said. “I’m happy, but you don’t want to give up two at home.”
One of the main criticisms of Cushing’s tenure is the number of goals conceded: New York City have allowed 12 goals in five games including the three given up to New Jersey Red Bulls in the US Open Cup. However, Cushing said that the issues that have led to these goals have been a recurring theme and one that started during the clean sheet streak.
Which begs the question: Why haven’t the recurring issues been fixed?
He specifically mentioned the 1-0 away win over Minnesota United and the too-close-for-comfort 1-0 home win over Chicago Fire games as ones in which big chances were given up by an NYCFC squad that can be wasteful in front of goal. Neither Minnesota nor Chicago managed to put New York City away, but the signs were there. Cushing emphasized that NYCFC needs to work hard to become a solid team that does not give up big chances.
It’s been a bumpy start for Cushing — one that was bordering catastrophic. However, New York City are still in a position to jump right back up to the top of the Eastern Conference with a couple of wins in the next week.
Those will be hard-fought: After New York City returns from playing Dallas on Wednesday they will face New Jersey in the Hudson River Derby at Red Bull Arena.
NYCFC, Talles Magno 10’ (P)
New England, Gustavo Bou 18’
NYCFC, Taty Castellanos 44’ (P)
NYCFC, Gabriel Pereira 49’
New England, Gustavo Bou 77’
NYCFC, Taty Castellanos 82’
NYCFC, Taty Castellanos, dissent, yellow card, 36’
New England, Andrew Farrell, Professional Foul Last Man, red card, 41’
NYCFC, Justin Haak, foul, yellow card, 70’
New England, Carles Gil, dissent, 84’
Attendance: No figure announced
Referee: Timothy Ford
Assistant Referees: Logan Brown, Kevin Klinger
Fourth Official: John Griggs
VAR Referee: Kevin Terry Jr.
Assistant VAR Referee: Jeff Muschik