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NYCFC Finally Gets Road Goals, But Still Fall 3-2 To Charlotte FC – My Thoughts On the Team As A Whole

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May 6, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte FC attacker Karol Swiderski (11) pushes New York City FC midfielder Richard Ledezma (20) in the first half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports

So I started this write-up as a recap but I’m changing it around to be a blend of opinion and recap. Right now the fans don’t need to read how the squad lost to another team at the bottom of the East. I read your comments, I see the threads on Reddit. I feel you and maybe you need a little reassurance. So I’ll do what I can and take this in a direction I don’t typically do.

First off, the bad. Yes, this team lost 3-2 to a squad, like Toronto last week, at the bottom of the East. This was a Charlotte team that gave up a league worst 19 goals this season, a stat that giving up two goals at home isn’t going to help, even with the win. However I feel there’s a bit of a mental block when it comes to playing on the road. You see teams go through this, it’s not a play to win, it’s a play not to lose. These folks know the stats and numbers better than we do and at times you get bogged down by the numbers as they burn in your head. IMO, this is what I feel is happening, they know they’re SUPPOSED to win these games, so the expectation is greater. Win? Fine, we’re supposed to, big deal. Lose or tie? We were supposed to win, it looks bad on us. That’s what I think is happening right now. Also Nick Cushing clearly was pissed with me when I brought it up on the press conference so take that for what it’s worth. But when you come from behind twice to tie only to lose late on an own goal (on a bad luck header Richy Ledezma) it’s understandingly demoralizing.

Also, and this could just be the cost of doing business but the team is now at 27 yellow cards on the season which is tied for third. I do concern myself with that as suspensions may hurt the squad later.

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The Good. It’s still early. You’re still in 5th. Yes I know the road record is a brutal 0-4-2, but it’s only 1/3 of the way through the year. Yes, losing sucks for the fans, but the team lost 11 games each of the last two seasons. It’s part of the journey. During the press conference Nick talked about the need to improve on set pieces so he’s aware that’s a reason for the team’s recent struggles.

Santiago Rodriguez has 3 goals in the last three matches. That’s an absolute positive for a team that’s been struggling to score goals.

Additionally, I feel that the US Open will help the team get away from the past two losses and give the squad a fresh start. Additionally, playing in a Derby on Saturday against a Red Bull team in a stadium they have ample experience playing in, both at “home” and on the road will help somewhat. Each of the last two seasons the team needed a boost and a road win against a derby rival (and following that, a Citi Field match against the Union) can be a massive boost the club. If you’re a fan, be excited by that. Oh, and they’ve beaten the Red Bulls in each of the past two matches. And again, to reiterate, your team is in 5th, you don’t get there by accident.

Closing this out, I want to give you a quick positive note about the matchup on Wednesday. For NYCFC, the US Open begins in Cincinnati, a city and a club that the Pigeons have had success against. Historically NYCFC is undefeated against the Orange and Blue, going 6-0-2, including 2-0-1 in Ohio. This could be encouraging to NYCFC fans, as a US Open win will effectively erase the frustration the team has with itself over the past two matches. Let’s see what happens Wednesday.

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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