Patrick Vieira said the reasons for New York City FC’s 2-1 loss to Orlando City SC Sunday at Yankee Stadium were crystal clear, citing a failure to finish chances and poor defending.
“I think we created enough chances to win that game or at least take a point,” Vieira said in the post-match press conference. “We’re the only ones to blame. We lost today not because they were better, but it was because we didn’t take our chances and we didn’t defend well.”
Vieira was detailed on that last point, emphasizing it was a team breakdown. It started, he said, with Orlando City SC midfielder Antonio Nocerino having too much of an influence on the game.
“I think their No. 6 [Antonio] Nocerino touched too many balls and dictated too much of the game,” Vieira said. “We weren’t close enough and that was the first mistake.”
The second mistake came from not winning second balls that came from the Lions direct play from the back.
“When you don’t do these two things well you give them a chance to put you in danger because they have quality and I think that was our main problem,” Vieira said.
While David Villa scored in the 74th minute and there were several close calls late that could have resulted in an equalizer, Vieira said NYCFC didn’t capitalize on some situations in the attacking third.
“Something we didn’t do well was create more 2-v-1 on the wing,” Vieira said. “I think Rodney [Wallace] on one side or Ethan [White] on the other side didn’t give enough support to Tommy [McNamara] or Jack [Harrison] to create the overload on the wing.”
Vieira also defended his decision to take off Andrea Pirlo for Yangel Herrera with NYCFC trailing 2-0 in the 56th minute.
“I think when Andrea is on the field our game is more fluid and we create more chances,” Vieira said. “Yes, I make a change because I want something different, like all the other games, and it could Andrea out or it could be somebody else out.”
With Ronald Matarrita out 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain, Vieira opted to stick with four in the back at the start of the match and moved Rodney Wallace to left back from his usual spot as a winger.
“Of course as a winger he gives you a lot and defensively as a left back its not his favorite position,” Vieira said of Wallace.
“I think he was really concentrating on the defensive side of the game and it didn’t allow him to go as forward as he would want to or what the game allowed him to do. I strongly believe he can play that position as well so we have to keep working on that and we will see.”