New York City FC vs Columbus Crew: Sean Johnson redeems himself

New York City FC (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
New York City FC (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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New York City FC
New York City FC (Photo by Ira L. Black – Corbis/Getty Images) /

2. New York City FC played better… it is that simple

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After the MLS is Back tournament, there were some signs New York City FC were on the right path to regaining their winning ways.  However, their struggles continued, especially in their last game against the New York Red Bulls.

They lost 1-0, again, after a controversial error by Sean Johnson, where the ball was ruled over the line.  Their attack was lackluster, and they again were unable to score.  Furthermore, giveaways continued, and they were not sharp and concise in the possession and passing.

But on Monday, everything was different.  Head coach Ronny Deila said the team was ready to bounce back, and he was correct.  They lost the ball less and were able to maintain possession for longer periods of time.

The passing accuracy in the final third increased, and they had more attacking opportunities.  And finally, the work rate in the attack paid off, with Alex Ring securing the winning goal.  Plus, even after they scored, the team did not sit back but continued their attacking efforts.

Meanwhile, the defensive third looked more attentive and prepared than usual, and less muddled.  The backline remained in sync, which led to two disallowed goals from the Columbus Crew due to offsides being called.  The team also had 17 clearances, and some critical ones as well.  When the Crew had a corner kick in the final minute of stoppage time, the Pigeons were able to clear the ball out not once, but twice.  This crucial moment led to the final whistle being blown, and the desperately needed three points.

If New York City FC want to maintain on this path, then the team must continue to improve.  More importantly, there is still work to be done in the scoring department.  A summer signing could always help, but hopefully, this win will proliferate confidence throughout the team.