Colorado ends New York City FC’s unbeaten run in their first visit to Queens

Matt Freese | Credit : Shanely Leonardini
Credit: Matt Freese | Credit : Shanely Leonardini

The Colorado Rapids were the last opponent of the home game stretch. New York City FC aimed to climb to the top places of the conference with a win in Citi Field. The momentum was with the locals, so there was no doubt a positive result was manageable. Colorado arrived in good form despite their most recent defeat. Holding Inter Miami to a draw is a challenging task these days, so credit must be given. They also were visiting Queens for the first time, so there was motivation for a good result on the road.

The Good, the bad, and the ugly for New York City FC

Given the circumstances, starting with the negative is best and ending on a high note. First and foremost is the weather. The conditions before and after kickoff were horrible. While these are professional athletes, they were not prepared to deal with the rain that came down during the match.

Mounsef Bakrar | Credit: Shanely Leonardini
Mounsef Bakrar | Credit: Shanely Leonardini

However, Colorado managed to get the upper hand from the start. Kevin Cabral and Omir Mosso became a headache for New York City’s defensive line. O’Toole and Ilenic were constantly dispossessed in most of the counterattacking attempts. The pressure on the two wingers compromised the team as the midfield had to find ways to stop the opposition from obtaining a positional advantage.

The team did struggle in general as well. The mistimed passes became more frequent as the match progressed. They held the ball a second too long, causing either the play or the pass opportunity to be wasted. There were moments when the team seemed lost on the field, but this was due to Colorado’s constant high press.

The fact that they were able to limit Santiago Rodriguez’s involvement in comparison to previous matches affected the team’s passing flow as well. This limit in the passing options forced the team to play the ball out wide constantly, making the team too predictable when attacking opportunities came around. 

Hannes Wolf | Credit: Shanely Leonardini
Hannes Wolf | Credit: Shanely Leonardini

Colorado did their part and controlled the game from the 16th minute onward. Their game plan consisted of long trough balls that allowed their number 9 to battle it out with the central defenders and await a rebound. They also opted to stretch out the team to isolate the midfield and gain an advantage there.

While New York City did make adjustments for the second half the situation didn’t change and the team struggled to find a clear path toward an equalizing goal. Colorado finished the job in the 86th minute after Cole Bassett capitalized from a poor clearance by New York City’s defensive line. The visitors walked away with the win on their first visit to Citi Field and put the pressure back on New York for their upcoming game on the road.

Aside from the negative result against Colorado, the team showcased positive pointers in this 5 game home stretch. The emergence of Julian Fernandez as the “Last minute hero” to close out games for New York City. His constant contributions call on him to start in a game, hopefully, he’s given a shot in these upcoming matches The same goes for Alonso Martinez.

Julian Fernandez | Credit: Shanely Leonardini
Julian Fernandez | Credit: Shanely Leonardini

The striker is slowly raising his hand ready to take Bakrar’s place as the team’s main striker.  Youngster Malachi Jones also impressed the media with his speed and dribbling abilities. Last but not least, Santiago Rodriguez, the midfielder, reached a milestone during the homestretch game series. Making 100 appearances is no easy task to accomplish but he’s done it with style. 

The team now prepares for their first game on the road against Toronto FC. They have to start picking up results on the road to have better chances for playoff spots wen the playoff push begins.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: