New York City FC: Ismael Tajouri better off without the ball

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - March 24: Ismael Tajouri-Shradi
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - March 24: Ismael Tajouri-Shradi /

Ismael Tajouri has taken his opportunity to shoot to the top of the New York City FC scoring charts, and he’s not doing it in the normal fashion.

New York City FC love their weapons. They have an ever-expanding arsenal of attacking options to the point that, even with David Villa called away, they are still finding no trouble scoring consistently.

And, in the wake of the Spaniards absence, it has been Ismael Tajouri who has taken the opportunity to shoot to the top of their scoring charts, netting three goals in just 181 minutes for a whopping average of a goal every hour.

No big deal.

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However, it’s not like Tajouri is dominating with the ball, running circles around defenders and making a right mockery of opposing defenses. In fact, he is proving to be a much better player when he doesn’t have then ball.

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The 2-2 draw against New England showed this better than anything else. Despite scoring both of the Cityzens goals, he didn’t do much else. Disclaimer: I’m not saying he should have, I’m merely praising him for the capacity that he is maximizing his opportunities.

Tajouri didn’t create a single chance or create a single dribble. He lost the ball eight times all on his own (four dispossessed and four poor touches).

For a winger, this is rather odd. Tajouri was lined up opposite Jesus Medina. And while Medina didn’t fare all that much better, we have seen him do more in previous starts. Tajouri hasn’t been able to create much of his own, like Medina, but what he is providing may be even more valuable than if he was.

What Tajouri is showing is a tremendous instinct to know where he needs to be and when to be there. There are a handful of players in the world that just get it. They know what to make that run and, once they get it, they have no problem putting it away. Tajouri looks to be taking on that role.

Both of his goals against the Revs were created by his team mates and, by the time Tajouri was picked out, all he had to to was punch the ball in. Granted, his second goal required a much better finish, which he provided, but the point remains the same.

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New York City FC has a lot of movers and shakers with the ball. The list stretches across their entire front line. What Tajouri looks to be bringing is something different, something tougher to pick up. Because while all his team mates are dancing with the ball and holding the eye of the defense, Tajouri is timing his appearances in danger positions to perfection and capta