New York City FC: 3 questions after MLS is Back Tournament

New York City FC (Photo by Roy K. Miller/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
New York City FC (Photo by Roy K. Miller/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
New York City FC
New York City FC (Photo by Roy K. Miller/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

New York City FC had an interesting journey during the MLS is Back tournament

New York City FC miraculously made it to the quarterfinals of the MLS is Back tournament.  Despite early struggles, a win against Inter Miami CF and some luck led them to the knockout rounds.  Then, the Pigeons had a dominating performance against Toronto FC.  This game made fans believe things were finally clicking for the team.  But as many know, NYCFC failed to show up in the quarterfinals against the Portland Timbers, and consequently were knocked out of the tournament.

While there were some glimpses of the talent that exists amongst NYCFC players, concerns and questions remain going into the remainder of the season.  On paper, the Pigeons are too talented to not have success and play well.  Of course, it is possible they are on the right track; Portland just got the better of them.  Nevertheless, the club must do better.

Here are three questions we have for NYCFC post the MLS is Back tournament.

3. Where is the scoring for New York City FC?

Excluding the first Champions League game and the recent game against Toronto FC, New York City FC has been struggling in the scoring department.  Players like Héber, Valentín Castellanos, and Alexandru Mitriță are not scoring at the rate they should be.  While there have been matches where the attack has been compelling and resilient, the finishing has been lackluster.  This is a team that had 20 games with two or more goals in the 2019 regular season, so why are they not scoring?

Possibly, players might be struggling to adjust to new head coach Ronny Deila’s strategies and game plan.  Although, Deila does have many similarities with Patrick Vieira and Domènec Torrent’s playing styles.  They are still to attack from the back, and there is a heavy reliance on the wingers and fullbacks.  Truthfully, there should not be too many changes, yet players sometimes seem uncomfortable on the pitch.

Also, fans can recall the Pigeons had a slow start to 2019, and 2020 has been no different.  Despite the loss against the Portland Timbers, players looked more concise and confident in the Miami and Toronto games.  Moreover, the attack and finishing was stronger, and the passing and possession was smoother as well.  Still, looking at the majority of matches so far, the scoring struggles is concerning.

Again, it is possible NYCFC is on the right track, and they just struggled against Portland.  If they are on the right path though, then players must start the resumption of the regular season on fire.  They must play as they did in the Toronto fixture, and score goals.  They must sharpen their finishing, and cannot have the misses that they had in the MLS is Back tournament.  Players like Héber have to finally score, and Jesús Medina must remain consistent with his form.

Once NYCFC finds consistency in their scoring, then the team could once again become a force in Major League Soccer and finish toward the top of the Eastern Conference.