New York City Football Club gained a valuable road point against Atlanta United on Wednesday.
The two sides played out a 2-2 draw at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Here are Five Points from the game…
In the buildup to Wednesday’s game, Nick Cushing challenged his team to make the most of transition opportunities.
After 43 seconds they had done just that, thanks to some quick thinking from Keaton Parks that created an opportunity for Pereira.
Focusing on the team’s second goal, it was Richy Ledezma that pounced on a loose ball and played an incisive pass. Those displays of quick, confident, decision-making proved vital on the night and showed how this team can turn a seemingly harmless moment into a chance to score.
When the two sides met earlier this season Gabriel Pereira produced a brilliant finish after driving inside and unleashing a ferocious drive.
Pereira carried that momentum into Wednesday evening, where it took him less than 60 seconds to find the net. The forward’s ability to drift into the half-space and drive at opponents with the ball made him a constant threat.
For his first goal, Pereira produced a cool finish by curling it into the bottom corner past Brad Guzan. In the second half, he once again slid the ball past Guzan to re-establish the team’s advantage.
The 21-year-old currently leads the team in goals this season, and Wednesday night was another reminder of why he is so highly regarded. A dangerous combination of pace, trickery, and composure, Pereira showed all three traits in spades against Atlanta.
NYCFC are now unbeaten in the last four games.
The team have managed to keep clean two clean sheets during that run, while also scoring in back-to-back games. The team’s run of results is a good example of how delicate the game of soccer can be.
Haak At The Back
Justin Haak completed his fourth consecutive 90 minutes for the first team against Atlanta United on Wednesday.
This run of appearances represents Haak’s longest consistent run in the first team. The Brooklyn-born youngster completed the full 90 minutes and made several important blocks and clearances.
Haak has previously earned praise from Cushing for his enthusiasm and dedication alongside his willingness to step into the team wherever asked. A player that has grown in stature during this run, he emerged from Wednesday with another strong showing behind him.
If the group felt any sense of frustration at Wednesday night’s result they can channel that energy into their meeting with Portland Timbers.
The Timbers suffered a 2-1 defeat to Chicago Fire on Wednesday night, and while they’ll be keen to bounce back on Saturday.
NYCFC have now shown glimpses of its potential across these four games. Against Atlanta, the team proved they can be devastating in attack. If they can stitch the defensive rigor of previous games with the flowing transitions of last night they could be ready to deliver on their unquestioned potential as a group.
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