Takes! Get your Takes! Hot and Cold! Takes of all shapes and sizes!
Here are five things we learned from NYCFC’s 1-1 draw with Montreal Impact…
1. Taking Stock
Four points out of a possible nine is the same tally we had at this stage 12 months ago but Head Coach Patrick Vieira will justifiably feel as though his team could have had all nine this time around.
As was the case against Orlando on the opening day, a combination of ill fortune and wastefulness in front of goal denied the home team the result they merited on Saturday.
Vieira’s men took 18 shots, five more than their visitors, but only managed to score once through Rodney Wallace in the dying embers of the first half.
Jack Harrison, Maxi Moralez and Alex Ring all had presentable opportunities to score but they either found Evan Bush at the top of his game or missed the target altogether.
As we now take a two-week pause for the first international break of the season, Vieira will have plenty of time with the majority of his squad in training to sharpen up at the business end of the field.
2. Unbeaten Home Run Rolls On
Like Patrick said after the game, if you can’t win a game, don’t lose.
NYCFC are now unbeaten in ten MLS Regular Season home games, winning eight in that time since the defeat to Real Salt Lake in June 2016 – nine months ago.
It wasn’t the result we wanted but the team now have an opportunity to build chemistry and further forge combinations and relationships before we all meet again at Yankee Stadium in two weeks’ time.
3. Déjà Vu
Just as it was in 2016, Dominic Oduro once again stole NYCFC’s thunder and reduced three points into one.
The cross-field ball from Bernier took out the home defense but Oduro still had plenty of work to do to take it down and provide the finish under pressure from Chanot and Johnson.
It was an especially frustrating moment as Moralez had only just spurned the best chance the home team created in the second half but these are the margins in soccer and if opportunities aren’t taken, there’s always a door open for opposition to land the sucker punch.
It’s still early in the season, so there’s plenty of time for this new-look team to learn these tough lessons.
4. Jack Flash
Ambroise Oyongo will be pleased that he doesn’t have to face Jack Harrison again until September.
The English winger certainly seems to relish playing against Montreal…
In 2016, he scored an MLS Goal of the Season contender in his rookie year and this time he was just as influential again, turning Oyongo inside and out on several occasions to earn the NYCFC.com Man of the Match and the Heineken Star of the Game awards.
Harrison said after the game: “He’s [Oyongo] a good player so I know I have to mix up my game a bit and take it up a level. That said, I should have had a goal today and it’s going to be crucial for us going forward to take our chances and finish off games earlier.”
5. Hot Rod-ney
What a start to Rodney Wallace’s NYCFC career…
Just as he did against DC, Wallace showed his predatory instincts to bag his second NYCFC goal in as many weeks.
The goal was made by the wing wizardry of Harrison as he teed up Ring for the shot which was spilled towards the Costa Rican wide man.
There was still work to do for Wallace as he had to contort and twist his body before turning past Bush in the Montreal goal.
Wallace’s primary MO isn’t necessarily to score but rather to stretch defenses, serve in crosses and link plays.
However, if he can continue chipping in with vital goals, as he did yesterday, he’ll soon be an NYCFC fan favorite.