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NYCFC vs Orlando SC – Preview and 4 Questions

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Oct 2, 2022; Harrison, New Jersey, USA; New York City FC midfielder Gabriel Pereira (38) battles Orlando City SC defender Joao Moutinho (4) for the ball during the first half at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York City Football Club concludes it’s 5 game road trip (including the US Open match) tomorrow night down in Florida to face Orlando City. It’s been a rough run of late for the Gents in Blue, being shut out in 3 of the first 4 matches and taking a loss in every single one of them. Heavy concerns exists now more than ever about this squad’s ability to win on the road as their as their record fell to 0-5-2 away from NYC with their 1-0 loss to the Red Bulls in the first round of the Hudson River Derby. As they take on 11th place Orlando, I have a few questions regarding the suddenly 10th place Cityzens:

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Last time out.


1) When The Rip Is This Road Winning Streak Going To End? This one is clearly first and foremost in the minds of the players and fans. Prior to the road trip head coach Nick Cushing talked about how playing on the road was going to define the team, but I feel he was wrong there. This losing streak is brutal, no argument from me, but bad streaks don’t define a team. Last year from July 30 through September 10 the team went 1-7-2, lost 5 out of 6 matches (including 2 losses at home), then fired off a Campeones Cup win, 2 regular season wins and 2 playoff wins before losing to Philly in the Eastern Conference Final. Late 2021 1-5-3 in September/October including loses in both Hudson River Derbys. Then a late goal by Gudi Thorarinsson and the rest became history. Streaks are normal in a long season can get swallowed up if the team preforms well outside of them. So don’t lose hope yet fans, even if it does suck big time right now.

2) Should Luis Barraza Get More Love? I admit to not being sold on Barraza earlier on, seeing him as a stop gap for Matt Freese. But very quietly he’s been solid in goal. Yes he only has 1 clean sheet which doesn’t stand out in the stats, but he’s allowed one goal in 7 of the last 8 matches which has been key as the team struggles to find the back of the opponent’s net. Last year Sean Johnson came in 2nd in the league in Clean Sheets with 14 so stats like that stand out more, Barraza has quietly become a stronger and stronger leader to this team.

3) Is Nick Cushing On The Hot Seat? Sadly, yes. I feel most fans don’t put the blame entirely on him, but rather David Lee and the higher ups not working to replace the likes of Taty Castellanos, Maxi Morales, Heber and so on.

Here’s a hot stat that took me 10 minutes to make sure I had right: From 2021 through Taty’s departure in July 2022 (including playoffs, US Open & CONCACAF), NYCFC scored 4 goals or more 10 times. Since Taty left, ZERO. That’s extremely telling just how much of a presence the Argentinian was to the team, and something granted not easily replaced. However it seems the higher ups are content to play the long game here, and let the Richy Ledezmas and Gabe Segals to grow into the role rather than bring in someone now as an immediate threat. This is frustrating to the fans who are used to winning now. We’ll see what happens during the Summer Transfer Window, but Cushing unfortunately may not last that long if this losing streak continues when the team is at home. And that sucks, I like the dude.

4) Can The Team Tighten Up Their Matches Late? I’ve been watching two trends season that are pretty telling: 1) In all four wins this season, the team lead at halftime. 2) 9 of the 15 goals they’ve given up have been at the 70th minute or later. Cushing attributed it to being able to calm down a young team by taking a lead early which makes sense, but let’s see if it continues.

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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