Skip to content

NYCFC suffer first-ever loss to Colorado, end winning streak

New York City FC struggled to create chances, and couldn't handle the counterattacks launched by Colorado Rapids.

Only the Colorado Rapids had reason to celebrate at Citi Field | © Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC returned to their old ways with a 2-0 loss to Colorado Rapids at Citi Field on Sunday. It was a cold and wet afternoon in Queens, and the Rapids left the Big Apple with their first-ever win over NYCFC after the away side put up a strong defensive performance, and a highly effective counterattacking style of play.

Just like last week, the visiting team scored early. But unlike last week, New York City were unable to fight back to earn the win. Instead, it was Colorado that added a second goal late in the game.


New York City: 15 shots, 3 shots on target, 62% possession, 696 passes, 85% pass accuracy, 8 fouls, 2 saves

Colorado: 11 shots, 4 shots on target, 37% possession, 349 passes, 69% pass accuracy, 7 fouls, 3 saves

• Colorado, Rafael Navarro, 16'
• Colorado, Cole Bassett, 86'

Attendance: 19,456

New York City finished their five-game homestand with three wins, one draw, and one loss, earning 10 out of 15 points. The team ended the matchday in seventh place in the table, after sitting as low as 14th earlier in the season.

Colorado stays compact, organized

Chris Armas and Colorado came to Citi Field with a clear-cut gameplan: Let NYCFC dominate possession, hit them on the counterattack. It worked.

Courtesy g+ GameFlow

Colorado's first goal came against the run of play. In the 16th minute, midfielder Cole Bassett picked out Rafael Navarro, and the striker placed his shot perfectly in the corner of the net past Matt Freese. Navarro wasn't effectively closed down by New York City defender Mitja Ilenič, which gave the Colorado player plenty of time to line up his shot.

New York City controlled the rest of the first half with well over 60% possession, but went into the locker room with nothing to show for it, trailing 0-1.

NYCFC looked much more slow and lethargic in the second half, struggling to create chances in the final third.

Colorado defenders Andreas Maxsø and Moïse Bombito limited New York to just three shots on goal. The large, physical center-backs combined for 14 clearances, 11 recoveries, and four interceptions. They dominated New York City, forcing the attack to move the ball around the box or take wasteful shots.

Colorado left-back Samuel Vines, who was listed as questionable heading into the game, was targeted by NYCFC on the right flank. But he stood strong, recording two clearances, three interceptions, and five recoveries.

New York City's Santiago Rodríguez had 110 touches, played eight passes into the final third, and completed 84% of his passes. Rodríguez has been the creator of New York City's attack, as well as the lead goal-scorer, but the No 10 was unable to create clear-cut chances for his teammates due to Colorado's composed backline.

Bassett put the game to bed with an insurance goal in the 86th minute. James Sands took one too many touches on the ball and was dispossessed by Bassett, who went on to score his fourth goal of the season and put the dagger in the contest.

Attacking substitutions are ineffective

With NYCFC down 1-0, Cushing opted to make some changes early in the second half. He brought on Andrés Perea and Tayvon Gray to defend against Colorado's counterattack, and Alonso Martínez, Julián Fernández, and Malachi Jones to bring some energy to the offense.

Martínez served as the No 9 after coming on for Mounsef Bakrar, but it did not go to plan. Martínez only had four touches in the game and was left stranded up top. Fernández struggled to create anything on the ball, and had just one touch in Colorado's box.

Jones was the most active substitute, seeing a lot of the ball on the left wing. Jones had a golden opportunity to score his first goal for the club when he was picked out by an inch-perfect Gray cross, but his header went just wide of goalkeeper Zack Steffen's post.

Attention turns to Toronto

Up next for New York City is a road game against Toronto FC, a team NYCFC defeated 2-1 earlier this season to earn their first win of 2024. Toronto are now one of the more in-form clubs in MLS, with three straight wins carrying them to third place in the Eastern Conference.

It will be another tough test for New York City, who will look to win their first away game this season.

After that, New York City will face Philadelphia Union on short rest in a midweek matchup on the road. Then they will host the New York Red Bulls at Citi Field on May 18, in what will be the first Hudson River Derby to be played in Queens.

• Colorado, Oliver Larraz, yellow card, foul 20′
• NYCFC, Santiago Rodríguez, yellow card, poor sportsmanship 37'

• Referee: Allen Chapman
• Assistant referees: Jose Da Silva, Meghan Mullen
• Fourth official: Jeremy Scheer
• VAR: Edvin Jurisevic
• Assistant VAR: TJ Zablock