A defeat on the opening night of NYCFC’s third season in Orlando but Head Coach Patrick Vieira was proud of the performance his players produced despite the result.
Cyle Larin’s 15th minute header proved to be the only goal of a game which Vieira’s men completely dominated but just couldn’t find the finishing touch.
The Frenchman vented his frustration at his team’s lack of composure in front of goal after the match but he was also pleased with the attitude and the build-up play demonstrated on the night.
Vieira told reporters: “It was the opening of their stadium, it was a good atmosphere and you could see their players were really motivated.
“They started really well and we conceded a goal at the wrong time. After, we deserved to get something from the game. We played some really good football.
I’m really pleased with the attitude we showed and we will win more games playing this way than anything else.
“When you analyze the game overall there is a lot of frustration because we weren’t clinical enough in front of goal and we didn’t manage the first 15/20 minutes well. We’re really disappointed not to take at least a point back to New York.
“The chemistry was better than I thought – if you look at the way we played through midfield, the combination play and the chances we made, it was very good.
“We need to improve our finishing – to be more ruthless when we have the chance. To play away and create as many chances as we did was really positive. We just need to finish them.”
Ugo Okoli was among those in sky blue who nearly equalized after creating two chances for himself shortly after his introduction from the substitutes’ bench.
Vieira would have liked his team to revert to a more direct gameplan to best serve his new striker but he was happy Okoli’s debut.
“He’s a goalscorer and I want him to have a bit more impact up front,” Vieira reflected.
“We didn’t put in enough crosses when he came on but he created two good situations by himself. He showed his ability and his quality too.”
Vieira was also happy with Sean Johnson’s first appearance for NYCFC in goal.
He added: “Sean was fantastic – he was really commanding at the back and showed his personality. I was pleased with his performance.”