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I Like Nick Cushing But Make No Mistake, the Man is On the Hot Seat

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Head Coach Nick Cushing Giving Me A Fist Pump in the Team’s 5-0 Win Last Year at Red Bull Arena Image Credit – Scott Churchson Stream Punk Entertainment

With the New York City Football Club’s 2024 campaign getting underway in just over a week the team is not only hopeful, but expected to show that last year’s subpar season was a fluke. Setting a team record with 14 draws and falling under 500 for the first time since their inaugural year of 2015, the New York City football club narrowly missed getting into the new playoff format by just 2 points. 

Going into the end of last season to be quite honest I was unsure if Cushing was going to be back this season. His time is head coach has been difficult, first take me over midway through the season when previous coach Ronny Deila left the club for Belgium followed immediately by Golden Boot winner Taty Castellano being sent to Girona in Spain forcing him to adapt/ Just the same the 2022 team ended with more points that it’s championship season the previous year and still made it to the Eastern conference finals.

Last season however was a different story with the departure of captain and goalkeeper Sean Johnson, Maxi Morales (who did come back towards the end of the season), Maxime Chanot towards the end of the season and others. 

Still, despite that they had a strong run towards the end of the season accumulating 15 points in their final 8 matches including 5 Clean Sheets thanks to most likely permanent goaltender Matt Freese who was signed to a contract extension at the end of the season.

But make no mistake, even though the team ended on a strong foot and narrowly missed a playoff spot despite a sluggish run for much of the season, there is a massive amount of pressure on Cushing to show success early in this 2021st 4 season. The club will start out with 2 games on the road to start the season last season only having one victory away from New York City. The first stop will be in Charlotte, a team that since its inception in 2022 the New York City football club has only managed 1 draw in 4 matches and zero wins. The departure of leading goal scorer Karol Swiderski for Hellas Verona could give the Gents In Blue an opportunity to pick up 3 points in a place where they’ve never been able to will be key to start the season strong as they’re immediately following up the next week with their first ever match up against St. Louis, a team landed with 62 points and a playoff birth in it’s inaugural season. Should the New York City Football Club lose those 2 matches right out of the gate the Cushing Out fans will vehemently push to show Cushing the door. In fact, I believe that if the team gets anything less than 11 points in the first 8 games Cushing could still get the axe.

The fans are restless. With the team having 3 draws and a loss in 4 Friendlies this season the fear is setting in for many. To me, preseason is preseason, but I get it. After last year they want proof. Friendly or not, they want to see a 3-0 5-1 dismantling to generate faith. Tickets and kits are getting more expensive so fans as a whole are less patient. Which is why I feel Cushing starts the season on the hot seat. I’m rooting for him just the same, last year he told me that if he loses the job he’ll be sad for 2 weeks, then ask the question, “Where are we going now?” But he wants to win here. He wants to finish what he inherited and his roots are here, settled in Bergen County New Jersey with kids that ironically go to the same elementary school my mother did 70 years ago. And anything less than another cup is failure. But if the team starts sluggish and doesn’t show the doubters he’s the man for the job, he might get that 2 weeks of sadness.

About the author – Scott Churchson has been an actor in every way for the past 13 years, from BG to stand in to stunts and principal, a sports writer for the past 4 and is one of the people that created Stream Punk Entertainment. He’s married to a veterinarian, has a cat with three working legs, a mother-in-law who just moved in and is just a simple man trying to make his way in the universe.

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