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.