In our group chat, I said if New York City FC gets two points out of these two games, I would see that as a successful week. Others said three or four points. Nine players were out due to injury, suspension, and international duty (some had a combo of country play and one of the others). One of these nine included the man himself, David Villa. (That was my way of getting his name in this article. I can’t mention him anywhere else.) This week was going to be rough. BUT DON’T DARE DOUBT THE BLUES! City earned not two, but three points! And I and maybe a few others were able to sleep this weekend. However, there aren’t just positives to come out of this week. Let’s take a look at what we got from these two matches against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday and Portland Timbers on Saturday.
1. NYCFC’s goal, scored by Jack Harrison, was only SKC’s 20th goal conceded all season. Can I say that’s a milestone?
2. Ugo Okoli earned his third start of the year, and his first since May 18, 2017, in the RSL away match. He had 15 appearances at the end of Wednesday night for the season.
3. The win extended City’s undefeated streak to five. But this is not news (see fact #9).
4. Andrea Pirlo played a full 90 minutes for the fourth time this season. This was his 12th appearance.
5. City’s goal differential broke a club record after this match. It went to +14.
6. Two games without Villa (this and the Columbus game from a while ago), both wins! This is looking promising. Of course, this squad was very weak compared to the squad that played in Columbus. But a win is a win.
On to the next one…
7. (Referring to #6) Spoke too soon, huh? 2W-0D-1L for NYCFC without The Kid.
8. A fact continued to this week. City has failed to score in now seven of the last eight matches. This is not a good record.
9. This loss was only City’s second at home. The loss snapped a ten match undefeated streak at home, and that five match undefeated streak I mentioned in fact #3 (told you it wasn’t news). It takes the Blues to a record of 17W-4D-2L at home over 23 matches.
10. As mentioned in the match recap, Pirlo started for a second consecutive match, the first time since starting the first seven matches this year.
11. Khiry Shelton started his first match this season.
12. The ‘keeper had yet another hot game! Sean Johnson recorded his NYCFC best seven saves. His highest was 12, on August 22, 2012 with Chicago Fire away against DC United (still lost 4-2…).
In terms of the points, it was an okay week. Again considering the mayday of the roster, this was fine. But look at this, if you haven’t seen it yet:
Happy to be back on the training field again! Trying to come back as soon as possible. https://t.co/561sxy69ZF
— David Villa (@Guaje7Villa) September 11, 2017
HE’S COMING BACK!!! Hopefully Villa can travel with the team to Colorado. Fingers crossed!
Oh, and by the way, I know Matt Doyle linked to my reply tweet in his article congratulating Toronto FC. I publicly apologize for that…