NYCFC face glaring weakness at striker that must be addressed

talles magno, nycfc
Feb 25, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville SC forward Ethan Zubak (11) and New York City FC forward Talles Magno (43) battle for the ball in the second half at Geodis Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

NYCFC struggled in the opener against Nashville, dropping the game 2–0, failing to get high-probability chances on target. The best opportunity came off the boot of Thiago Andrade, who passed the ball off to Matias Pellegrini, who launched it over the crossbar after an unfortunate hop.

However, there’s a strong argument that Andrade should’ve slotted the ball home past the goalkeeper to the left side of the net, but his resistance forced him to make a difficult pass that ended up as a squandered opportunity.

Despite that lone chance, NYCFC hoped that star Brazilian forward Talles Magno would rise to the occasion and provide them with much-needed support. The team utilized Magno as their No. 9, despite the fact he doesn’t have the makeup of a legitimate striker. In fact, they may want to consider changing Magno‘s role before it’s too late, transitioning back to the left wing where he can utilize space and his flair to take on defenders and open up room for his teammates.

[su_posts template=”templates/list-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”1671765″ offset=”1″ order=”desc”]

NYCFC needs to let Talles Magno use his skills on the wing instead of up top:

When having a player like Talles, who is only 20 years old and naturally utilizes his dribbling to clear out defenders, having a quality striker who can get him behind that space and offer him an outlet may be a beneficial strategy. Of course, the team is reeling from the loss of several big-name players this past off-season, but there are rumors that Santiago Rodriguez could make a triumphant return to the club.

Nonetheless, providing more offensive chances starts with Magno, so opening up his skill set and expanding upon his talent should be a priority. Hoping he can turn into a legitimate striker is an optimistic perspective, but I liken his skill set to Gabriel Jesus, his Brazilian teammate and current arsenal striker.

Neither have blazing speed, but they have fundamental strengths that allow them to create space and convert opportunities. However, Jesus is a far more potent scorer, whereas Magno still tries to do too much on his own instead of passing the ball efficiently and moving into space as a winger. If Magno can operate with more vision and focus on his positioning rather than aggressively taking on defenders, it may provide him with better scoring opportunities.

It is a common belief that NYCFC will continue adding players throughout the season, and finding a true No. 9 would be a good start.