As you can see, the stats above really do tell a story. NYCFC really dominated the game on paper, and after watching it, it was on the pitch too. The new jersey was probably the best thing about DCU on the pitch. We lacked creativity, pace and any passion. It doesn’t help with the fact we are missing some players, especially Mora, who has been missing since he broke his jaw. We need to really find someone who can fill that gap. We have Akeem Ward as full back, but Olsen doesn’t seem to want to play him. He insists on playing Arriola at FB, which is not where he should be playing. He is an attacker and has that pace we sorely missed. I do feel though we did play better at 343, and this is something that we could do to combat the missing FB.
The 1st half was abysmal, NYCFC were 1st to everything, they had a good couple of efforts on goal, Mitrita looked like a promising player, however, he did dive and that went unpunished. That I cannot forgive, not just from Mitrita, but the ref. This is where VAR should be allowed to intervene as they can see the replay and have the player punished there and then.
After going 0-1 down, at the end of the half, really when we just wanted to get back to the dressing room, Jara made a very silly mistake to give away a penalty, shoving Tinnerholm to the ground inside the box. Jara, despite being one of our best players so far this season, I have noticed he does giveaway or has a tendency to be rash in his decision making. We didn’t concede from the penalty, therefore getting away with it, we won’t be so lucky on other occasions.
2nd half wasn’t much better either, still no pace, players looked like they were trying to take NYC players on by walking around them. I don’t know what was happening but it looked like they were tired. 3 games in 8 days is a lot, especially with the travel, but this is where having good squad depth pays off. There were a couple of good things that did come from the 2nd half though, not counting the full time whistle, we switched to 3-4-3, and that looked like we had better pace, a bit livelier going forward, Stieber came on and looked like he could make a difference and Griffin Yow, the 16 year old homegrown starlet made his debut, albeit for a few minutes, but great to see.
Going into the on the road game against the Crew, I’d like to see us go with 3-4-3, drop Acosta as he really isn’t being effective, and have a front three of Titi, Rooney & Arriola. I’m going to try it on FM and see how it goes. Let’s hope our Road form keeps us going. And lastly, somehow, we are still top of the Eastern Conference.