MANCHESTER, England | The result wasn’t there, but New York City FC head coach Jason Kreis hopes the improvements and extra work will be a byproduct.
New York City FC returns to the United States after one win and one loss in preseason friendlies from City Football Academy – the latter, a 2-0 defeat to Brondby on Sunday morning.
“We would have loved to have a better performance in our back pocket going home, but in some ways we needed some negativity as well,” Kreis said.
Martin Ornskov scored in the first half and Ferhan Hasani doubled the advantage for the Danish side in the second half as self-inflicted mistakes plagued New York City FC throughout the match.
“It’s a huge learning experience for us,” goalkeeper Josh Saunders said. “Against a team like this, they don’t allow you to play out of pressure very easily, so this experience going to help us out moving forward.”
In the 26th minute, Mix, who recently joined up with the Club after a pair of matches with the United States national team, was caught out of possession in the midfield and Brondby quickly capitalized.
Forward Johan Elmander received the ball in the center of the box and fed it to his right for an onrushing Ornskov, who slotted it past Saunders. The veteran keeper got a hand to it, but the ball cued off the far goalpost and trickled into the back of the net.
New York City FC, who beat St Mirren 2-0 on Feb. 10, had chances to respond. Andres Mendoza hit a thunderous 35-yard free kick just over the bar and David Villa lofted another free kick – this one about 20 yards – over the net as well.
The Club trailed 1-0 at the break.
All of the outfielder players were substituted for the game’s second 45 minutes, but that didn’t faze Brondby. Defender Patrick da Silva made a darting run from the left touchline to the box and slipped a nifty through ball to Hasani, who put it past Saunders in the 49th minute for a 2-0 advantage.
“It was going to be a difficult opponent for us, as we said,” Kreis said. “The majority of our problems came from ourselves. In the second half we made a really bad mental error to let da Silva drift all the way across the field for that goal.”
Tony Taylor, who scored against St Mirren, had a handful of chances in the second half, but New York City FC as a whole seemed to lack that final touch in the opponent's final third.
His left-footed shot was stopped by the Brondby goalie in the 55th minute and after receiving a ball over the top in the 65th, his shot was dragged past the near post.
Despite the loss, Kreis admitted there are still some positives from the match and is curious to see how his players deal with their first taste of defeat.
“We know there is a lot of work to be done,” he said.
Watch the match replay below: