NYCFC vs. Orlando City SC: Five Key Statistics

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For the second time this season, NYCFC lost to Orlando City SC 2-1. Cyle Larin scored a brace for the Lions, while David Villa pulled one back for NYC. Joe Bendik had another fantastic performance, making six saves. Ronald Matarrita and Khiry Shelton were missing for NYCFC. Kaka missed the game with the injury he picked up against NYCFC.

With that in mind, here are five key statistics that shaped the match. (All statistics from WhoScored unless noted)

Possession: 62% – 38%

Once again NYCFC dominated possession, 62%-38%, and once again they failed to take advantage of it. While playing out of the back and dominating possession are great, in the end they need points. This game was at home, so there is no reason NYCFC should have not drawn or lost. Manager Patrick Vieira needs to figure out the best way to turn this possession into strong chances.

Lack of Ruthlessness

NYCFC had 12 corners and 13 shots, but only scored one goal. In contrast, OCSC had three corners and nine shots, scoring two goals. OCSC won this game because they were more ruthless. This lack of ruthlessness has been too common in NYCFC games this season. Just like improving their possession efficiency, they need to improve their desire to get three points at all costs in order to push for a playoff spot.

Tommy McNamara Disappoints at Winger

With Ronald Matarrita out injured, Rodney Wallace was moved back to left back and McNamara filled in at left wing. McNamara only had one key pass, no accurate crosses, and one accurate long ball. Overall, that’s pretty disappointing compared to his substitute appearances. However, those appearances were all in midfield. Still, NYCFC have been better in with McNamara in the lineup. Going forward, that is one possible change that could help NYCFC. When Andrea Pirlo is on the field they have conceded seven goals, but scored seven. But, when McNamara is on the field, they have scored four goals, and conceded none. Even though he struggled on the wing, he played well there last season. Regardless of where he plays, he deserves another shot in the team, preferably in midfield.

Maxi Moralez: Creator

While NYCFC were struggling to finish chances, many of those opportunities were created by Maxi Moralez. He had four key passes, one of which was an assist on Villa’s goal, six successful long balls, and two accurate crosses. This type of production is what NYCFC were expecting when they signed him as Frank Lampard’s replacement. Moralez also had seven defensive actions (two tackles, one interception, one clearance, one blocked shot). This defensive contribution is significantly greater than Lampard managed. Hopefully he can continue this production.

Rodney Wallace: Not a Left Back

Wallace replaced Matarrita at left back and struggled. He was partially at fault for both goals. On the first goal, he allowed the cross to be completed, while on the second one Cyle Larin beat him in the air to score. However, he shouldn’t be expected to win that duel in the air and one of the center backs should be on Larin. Tommy McNamara also struggled on the left side, which didn’t allow him to venture forward as much. By moving Wallace forward and inserting RJ Allen into the lineup, NYCFC could improve offensively. Hopefully Allen has learned from his time outside the 18 and improved defensively.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you. Please put a natural right back in the lineup instead of a centerback (White or Brilliant) and teams will have to worry about being attacked on both side of the pitch instead of just the left (excluding counter outlets to Harrison). Prior to Matarrita’s injury, our attack seemed to be too easy to gameplan as your defensive focus should be to prevent overloading on the left and don’t give Harrison 1v1 iso opportunities. And to create chances, (a) let NYC FC hold the ball until it gets to White, (b) press him into a turnover or force him into a clearance (~50% I’d say), or (c) press Pirlo, giving him no space to handle a White pass or forcing him to play a difficult pass that his less technical defenders can’t handle (White & Johnson in particular). RJ Allen led all defenders in MLS in assists per 90 last year and our offense tended to struggle more with him out of the lineup (with White or Hernandez as his replacement). Having a legitimate build-from-the-back threat on the right would make our attack that much more unpredictable and harder to gameplan for, plus RJ Allen superior crossing, thru-balls, and ability in possession would help build Harrison into a even greater threat and actually allow teammates like Wallace, Villa, Ring & Moralez to get on the end of crosses and key passes unlike they would with White (or & especially Brilliant).

    Obviously, for the time being, RJ Allen should be inserted at left back while Matarrita is out unless Awuah is ready (probably not). I would also like to see what Gomez has at some point given we purchased him in offseason and I really don’t think White is the answer for our system at right back. We have been better defensively, but I’m willing to bet that has a lot more to do with the insertion of Callens (& deletion of Brilliant) into the starting 11 than it does starting White at right back. Our offense is worse than it was at the end of last year and one piece (White or Brilliant at right back), in a possession based system, can be the cause of ineffectiveness as can the insertion of a new piece (Allen or true right back) become the solution. Also, we resigned Allen, giving him a substantial raise from $63K to $100K so one would think we wouldn’t banish him from the 18 after one game (the opener against Orlando) especially given his production and effectiveness in Viera’s current system.

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