New York City FC suffered a 2-1 defeat against CF Montréal on Wednesday night.
Here’s Five Points from a tough night at Exploria Stadium, presented by Etihad Airways…
Luis’ Big Day Out
Luis Barraza could have been forgiven for feeling nervous last night. The game on Wednesday was his first start in Major League Soccer and he was replacing a club stalwart in Sean Johnson.
Those nerves didn’t show early on, however, with a fine first save in the 13th minute. One of Barraza’s strengths is his ability to play out from the back, and that was clear in the first-half as he looked calm and composed with the ball at his feet.
While there was nothing he could do about the penalty, he did do himself justice in the 49th minute with a big save on Mason Toye. Barraza’s decision to rush out and close down the space spoke to a goalkeeper being confident and decisive in his decision making.
Ultimately the result won’t have been what the 24-year-old wanted from the evening, but he can certainly take some positives from his first MLS appearance.
Press home the advantage
New York City FC were consistent in their attempts to press CF Montréal from the early stages, and it produced good results in terms of giving the Boys in Blue good opportunities in the final third.
Despite winning it back in dangerous areas a number of times the killer pass was unfortunately missing when it mattered most.
It was something Ronny Deila touched on in his post-match press conference, and while it will frustrate players and staff alike, it does bode well that NYCFC can engineer such dangerous pressing opportunities.
A Nice Piece of Play
The Boys in Blue started the game well, and were rewarded with a first-half goal that was something to appreciate.
A flowing team move involving five different players highlighted the team’s technical quality on the ball as well as their ability to shift tempo quickly and effectively.
A moment like that often involves a lot of hard work on the training field beforehand, establishing patterns of play, and we witnessed the result of that hard work on Wednesday. A moment to savor.
Quioto Causes Problems
It took less than a minute for Romell Quioto to show New York City FC how he could be a threat.
The forward’s speed and intelligence are a dangerous combination, and it kept Sebastien Ibeagha on his toes all night.
His involvement in CF Montréal’s first goal was largely about his speed and strength, as he managed to win a foot race against Ibeagha before playing Đorđe Mihailović in to win the penalty.
Quioto’s goal was more about smart movement and spotting an opportunity to run on Alfredo Morales’ blindside. The fact he had the composure to round the goalkeeper and slot home should also be acknowledged and reinforced the idea that the Honduran was Montréal’s biggest attacking threat on the night.
The forward was a nuisance all night and was the main reason his side claimed all three points.
NYCFC now have a ten-day break between games, and that will give Ronny Deila and his team ample opportunity to recharge and prepare for a meeting with Columbus Crew.
The Boys in Blue should be able to welcome back defender Alex Callens from international duty, which will also be a boost.
The Crew will present a different set of challenges, but there was enough on show against Montréal to believe that NYCFC can get back to winning ways and collect all three points.