New York CIty FC got back to winning ways on Saturday night with a 2-1 success against FC Cincinnati.
Here are Five Points from a great night in Ohio.
The Streak Ends
Ronny Deila has made no secret of his desire to end the Club’s winless run away from home, and on Saturday night, he got his wish.
NYCFC have had several solid performances on the road that haven’t resulted in wins, and you could have been forgiven for thinking that unwanted record would continue against FC Cincinnati after Brenner’s early goal. Thankfully, this group is resilient, and after settling into a rhythm NYCFC dominated proceedings before equalizing through a Keaton Parks header.
The Boys in Blue should arguably have been ahead inside the first half, with Ismael Tajouri-Shradi the benefactor of several good looks on goal. In the end, Taty Castellanos proved to be the match-winner, but not before the Boys in Blue were tested defensively.
A game on the road against a struggling side with talented attackers is no easy feat, and both players and coaches should take pride from the win, one which exorcises talk of away-day blues.
In the build-up to this game we discussed the return of Taty Castellanos.
The 22-year-old has had a fine season in MLS, notching 12 goals and seven assists. Against Cincinnati, the striker showed his strength and his smarts by teasing Geoff Cameron into conceding a penalty. The fact he was then able to dust himself down and convert the spot-kick so emphatically highlighted the player’s mentality.
Saturday’s goal means Castellanos now has four goals in four games, while also making this his best season for NYCFC in front of goal. His return to the side was a welcome one, and vital in helping NYCFC secure a big three points on the road.
Sean Steps Up
Although NYCFC were largely in control of proceedings FC Cincinnati did still manage to pose a threat – particularly on the break.
One such instance allowed Brenner to get a shot at goal from a narrow-angle, and but for a strong save from Sean Johnson, the team could easily have conceded. That moment underpinned several key moments that the Club’s captain stepped up to take the pressure away from the backline.
A vocal member of the squad, he made sure to keep his teammates focused and drilled during the final throes of the game, and that limited Cincinnati to only a few looks at goal.
Hold Your Nerve
It’s not unfair to say Saturday night was a feisty affair with FC Cincinnati collecting two red cards.
Neither decision could be argued, but it would have been easy for the NYCFC players to lose their cool in the heat of the moment. At times, it can be tough to ride the line between protecting your teammates and heading for an early shower. NYCFC have certainly had some issues with red cards of late, but they showed signs of growth on Saturday by ending the game with 11 players on the field.
“I think it's easy to lose concentration and discipline when you go 1-0 down,” Ronny Deila said afterward. “But the way we just keep calm, play the game, and get back to it; this shows a lot of character. I’m very impressed and proud with the way we came back into the game.”
If you were drawing up the depth chart for NYCFC at right-back it's unlikely that Chris Gloster or Andres Jasson would top your list.
The pair traditionally play left-back and forward, respectively, but on Saturday they were asked to do a job in the absence of teammates. Gloster was making his MLS debut for the Club, and did incredibly well to contribute on both sides of the ball, in both boxes, before coming off at half-time.
In Jasson, the Club have a player always willing to fill in where asked, and who can draw fouls from opponents on a consistent basis. The homegrown was subbed in at halftime, and did incredibly well at carrying the ball and offering NYCFC an attacking outlet down the right.
The 19-year-old was the victim of an aggressive tackle from Álvaro Barreal that saw the winger dismissed, and that hinted at the threat Jasson was offering down the right.
While neither player will have expected to be needed at right-back, both performed well and deserve credit for it.