New York City FC Vs Portland Timbers: 3 things to watch for – Battle of the Argentines

New York City FC, Portland Timbers (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
New York City FC, Portland Timbers (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Héber and Oriol Rosell
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – JULY 14: Heber #9 of NYCFC and Oriol Rosell #20 of Orlando City SC battle for the ball during a game between Orlando City SC and New York City FC at Wide World of Sports on July 14, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images). /

1. New York City FC need consistency

New York City FC should not have qualifed from the group stages of the MLS is Back Tournament. But with a win against Inter Miami CF and a little luck, the Pigeons squeezed through to the Round of 16 where they faced Toronto FC. They then dominated the Reds in an excellent 3-1 victory. Not only did they control the majority of the game; they scored multiple goals for the first time this season and looked confident in Ronny Deila’s system.

Now they have two wins in two games, though, NYCFC cannot let their foot off the pedal. They must continue playing with the same pace and aggression, and cannot lose focus. This is not the time to grow complacent after two good results following four-straight losses to open the year. There is still much to be done.

The improvements that are still to be made start with Héber, who is yet to score in MLS this season. He scored 15 goals in just 22 regular-season games in 2019, averaging a goal every 105 minutes. He is a brilliant goalscorer, but he needs to break his 2020 duck.

In the end, NYCFC has to play with the same attacking aggression as they did against Toronto in order to have a chance of moving on. They must now prove that they can replicate their excellent performance. Until they do that, the jury is still out.