New York City FC’s 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium is squarely on Patrick Vieira’s shoulders, the head coach said in a post-match press conference.
“The defeat today is mine,” Vieira said. “It’s me who is responsible for the loss today because the selection of the team wasn’t good enough to compete against Salt Lake and I take full responsibility for the performance of the team today.”
With three matches away from home in a seven-day span, Vieira went with a rotation for his starting XI and made five changes from the team that drew at FC Dallas on Sunday.
“I was thinking about the three games and of course thinking game after game and the team selection wasn’t good,” Vieira said. “I again take full responsibility of the performance of the defeat. This is mine and this is my responsibility.”
One of those changes was Sean Okoli for David Villa up front and Okoli rewarded Vieira for his faith by scoring his first Major League Soccer goal on four minutes. He pounced on a misplayed ball and burst into the 18-yard box before scoring low inside the far post.
“I think we scored when we created chances it was a good finish from Ugo, but then we didn’t play enough,” Vieira said. “We were a little bit too deep and Salt Lake wanted it more than us. This is unacceptable.”
NYCFC completes the three-game road trip when they take on Orlando City SC Sunday at 7 p.m.