Following New York City FC's 2-0 victory over Toronto FC on June 20 at BMO Field, players and coaches alike shared the same sentiment regarding the Club's third-consecutive victory.
"I’ve said for a very long time, the guys needed minutes together, they needed tactical experiences together – they needed to be down a goal, they needed to be up a man -- all of these tactical situations I thought we needed to understand," head coach Jason Kreis said. "They needed time together to know where each other is sort of subconsciously and we’re starting to see some of those connections between players blossom."
One of the biggest consistencies has been in the back line, particularly the middle defenders.
Following the 2-0 loss at Real Salt Lake on May 23, Kreis swapped defenders Chris Wingert and Shay Facey. Wingert had been playing in the middle of the back line along with Jason Hernandez, while the 20-year-old Manchester City Elite Development Squad loanee was on the right side.
The move back to their more natural positions has paid dividends. New York City FC has suffered one loss in their last six matches in Major League Soccer and have won three straight.
"I would say that one of the biggest contributing factors in why we’ve gotten better results is that our back four has looked more coordinated and cohesive,” Kreis said. "... Shay has done a really nice job for us. For a young player in his first professional season, it’s been top-notch, really. His performances over the past several weeks have also been top-notch.”
The Club recently announced the extension of Facey's loan until the end of the 2015 MLS season.
During their four-match unbeaten run, New York City FC has fielded a back line from left to right of: Wingert-Facey-Hernandez-Jeb Brovsky or RJ Allen. The Club has given up just three goals during the stretch as well.
"We’ve had a lot of rotations in and out whether it be international call-ups or injuries, so to have a set group of guys going after it week in and week out and getting a bit of chemistry is a huge benefit for us," Hernandez said. "I think it’s starting to translate to some results."
|Date||Opponent||Result||Left back||Center back||Center back||Right back|
|6/20||at Toronto FC||2-0 W||Wingert||Facey||Hernandez||Allen|
|6/13||vs. Montreal||3-1 W||Wingert||Facey||Hernandez||Allen|
|6/6||at Philadelphia||2-1 W||Wingert||Facey||Hernandez||Brovsky|
|5/30||vs. Houston||1-1 D||Wingert||Facey||Hernandez||Brovsky|
|5/23||at Real Salt Lake||2-0 L||Brovsky||Wingert||Hernandez||Facey|
The Red Bulls have played seven matches on the road this season. They are 1-3-3 in those matches while being outscored 12-9. The Red Bulls have only kept one clean sheet away from Red Bull Arena.
In fact, the Red Bulls haven't won in their past five matches outside of New Jersey.
|June 6||at Houston||4-2 L|
|May 31||at Seattle||2-1 L|
|May 16||at FC Dallas||0-0 D|
|May 3||at New England||2-1 L|
|April 12||at D.C. United||2-2 D|
- New York City FC forward David Villa is one of four MLS players to have taken 40 or more shots this season (41).
- Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty is one of three MLS players with at least 800 passes completed (824).
- Neither team has conceded a goal in the last 15 minutes of the first half this season.
- Josh Saunders is fourth in MLS with 54 saves, while Luis Robles is 14th with 31 saves.
- Tommy McNamara played 41 minutes in New York City FC's first 13 matches. The midfielder has missed just 10 minutes in the last three wins (260 minutes played).