2. Defensive third vs. attacking third
A 5-3 result shows one very clear facet to New York City FC’s qualities: they can score at will, but they will also concede plenty at the other end. Watching the game, there was a vast difference between the level of NYCFC’s play in the attacking third and defensive third.
More from MLS Multiplex
- Javier Milei Elected in Argentina: Potential Impacts on MLS and Signings of Argentine Players
- Orlando City and New York City FC in the Battle for Matías Arezo; Grêmio Enters Negotiations! Who Will Come Out on Top?
- USA, Honduras, Panama, and Canada Close in on a Spot in the 2024 Copa America
- De Gea Turns Down Al-Nassr’s Lucrative Offer: Speculation Points to Possible Reunion with Messi at Inter Miami
- Messi’s Magnetic Impact in the United States
Defensively, the Pigeons were poor. The backline was shaky and unorganized, leading to simple errors and positional mistakes. The Costa Rican side had 21 total shots and the disorganization led to their three goals. For instance, Álvaro Aguilar left Maxime Chanot and Sean Johnson in the dust for his goal, showing the unruly nature of New York’s defensive work.
Conversely, the attacking third looked strong and precise. Passes were accurate, NYCFC swiftly moved the ball among themselves, and their dominance of possession and accurate passing led to 16 shots total, with 11 on target. They moved the San Carlos defense from side to side, probing for space, before then darting forward with pace and purpose. Héber, Alexander Callens, and Alexandru Mitriță all got on the scoresheet in the process, illustrating the variety and depth of the attacking options.
While the defensive third needs work, NYCFC put on a show against San Carlos. And as the team continues to play and train, they can and will polish up the organization that plagued them. Players are still preparing for the season ahead and defensive work takes more time, practice and repetition. At this stage, disorganization is not entirely unusual. So for now, there is no reason to worry. The team is on the right track. And if their high scoring continues, NYCFC has room to let a few goals through until they lock down their backline.