New York City Football Club secured a point against Columbus Crew on Saturday.
The two sides played out a 1-1 draw at Yankee Stadium.
Here are Five Points from the game…
Never Give up
The very nature of soccer means it only takes a second for a game to be spun on its head.
Whether it’s a penalty call, a red card, or most importantly a goal, the unpredictable nature of the sport is what enthralls so many fans.
Saturday’s game was a prime example of that, with Gabe Segal’s 94th-minute goal snatching two points from Columbus and handing one to NYCFC. The goal also served as a huge momentum boost and saw the final seconds of the game defined by NYCFC desperately pursuing a winning goal.
This team’s character has been tested countless times this season, and on Saturday they stepped up when it mattered most.
Nick Cushing needed to change the result and decided turning to his bench was the best way to do that.
The Head Coach opted to introduce Gabe Segal for a change of approach in attack. Segal signed for the Club at the start of the year and has earned his spot on the first team through a combination of quality and effort.
His tireless running and willingness to try and find space in the penalty area helped him notch his first MLS goal against Orlando City SC, while his second goal this season was about quick reactions.
A wicked deflection sent the ball into Segal’s path, and by responding first, he managed to generate just enough space to get a shot off – tying the game in the 94th minute.
“It was a no brainer to put him in,” Nick Cushing said afterward.
Nick Cushing showed no hesitation in making changes against Columbus.
The NYCFC Head Coach used all five of his available substitutes on Saturday. Using the changes to make tactical tweaks and inject freshness, they paid off in a big way during injury time with Gabe Segal’s goal.
Ultimately, soccer is a team game. The fact Cushing and his staff can confidently turn to every member of the roster and believe they can change a game is a huge asset during what will be a long campaign.
Gabe got the goal, but it was a team effort.
NYCFC’s ambitions are to win games and sit atop the Eastern Conference.
Although that isn’t the position they find themselves in right now, they can at least take some positives from the last three games. The team is unbeaten in three, has kept two clean sheets, and faced some of the toughest teams in the league.
From those foundations, the team can build toward a better position. As Cushing himself said after the game; trust the process.
On The Road
NYCFC’s home game on Saturday was just a temporary stay.
The Boys in Blue will now undertake the first of three consecutive road games, starting with Atlanta United on Wednesday. A coast-to-coast trek awaits, as they travel to Portland on Saturday to face the Timbers before a journey north to take on CF Montréal.
The team has three opportunities to secure a first road win of the season. While the path to that achievement will be littered with challenges, it could also be a turning point in the team’s season.
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