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09 de Marzo de 2024 a las 14:48

Photo courtesy of Adam Hunger, Associated Press
Article by Scott Churchson
Columnist and Host of The Sports Den on Spanglish World Networks, Spanglish Sports World & Zingo TV
New York. - So to say it’s been a disappointing start to the New York City Football Club’s season would be an understatement. Let’s face it, after last season the match in Charlotte was literally must win. I talk annoyingly often about setting a mental tone, that the mindset at the beginning of a season affects the end of it. And after 2 matches the team has 0 points and somehow worse, 0 goals. NYCFC is one of only three teams in the league with a bagel for goals, alongside Orlando (with one point) and Atlanta (with only one match played). So NYCFC is at the bottom of the league.
What mentality exists there? They have a home opener against a Portland team to which they’ve beaten just once followed by a possibly improved Toronto team. But it’d Portland that concerns me. To go winless in 3 regardless of draw or not is devastating to a squad I presumed to make the playoffs this year. So as the Pigeons face the Timbers at Yankee Stadium this weekend for the home opener, as usual I have some questions:
4 Questions:
1) CAN This Team Win This Weekend? Absolutely yes. The disparity in MLS between home and road records must be considered. Since the start of the 2021 season NYCFC has had 28 wins at home vs 11 on the road, that’s an encouraging thought. Additionally for many of the squad it will be their first NYCFC home opener so the response could be positive there as well. It will be curious how new head coach Phil Neville will handle his first road match with a win and a draw at home for his first two. Have to win? Damn straight? Can win? Yes.
2) Who Scores First For This Team? At this point the key is less about who, rather just someone. Personally my money would be on Bakrar for obvious reasons, but I think even if Freese scores, no one would care. Going bagel in the first two is a massive eyesore for a team that used to be near the top of the chart in goals so the importance I think is less who, and more early.
3) Could This Team Go 0W-6L-0D in March? Yeek, actually yes it’s possible. Jumping ahead a bit after Portland they face a so far improved Toronto team at home then two road matches, one against Cincinnati who dominated at home last year on route to a Supporters Shield (and extra venom with their disappointing end) followed by an Inter-Miami squad that is expected to run wild in the East this year should Messi stay healthy.
4) What Happens Should This Team Lose? Personally I think this could be it for Nick Cushing if they come up short again. Initially I had said anything less than 10 points in the first 8 would be enough but 0 wins in 3 (including this home opener) and he might get the hook. In our era coaches don’t get as long a leash as they used to (see Lindy Ruff) and the fans are ready to riot. Personally, I like the shit out of Cushing, our convos have not just been about soccer but about life, the universe and everything. Kindred spirit if I ever met one. I know first hand but to a lesser degree the obsessive anxiety he’s going through running Stream Punk Entertainment and from my experience on America’s Got Talent 9 years ago plus several other arenas in film I know first hand what internet hate is like so I absolutely feel for the man. But as he told me last year, he’ll be sad for two weeks then ask the question, “Okay, where do we go now?”
In the end, I’m rooting hard core for 3 points today. The team & the fans need it after the disappointment of the first two matches. Doesn’t matter how, just f-ing win. I can’t wait.
Highlights & Interviews of the game: