NYCFC shows signs of growth in win over Inter Miami


It was a cold Home Opening match for NYCFC in the Bronx. The boys in blue had a few tasks in hand against Inter Miami, but the 3 points had to be achieved above everything else. Luckily the fan turnout gave the night that extra ingredient of the 12th man I spoke about before. Therefore, everything was in place for 90 memorable minutes of futbol in Yankee Stadium.

Midfield secured:

While there’s still work to be done to build the chemistry that the team needs, the game against Miami showcased a solid performance from the midfield. Santiago Rodriguez made the expected impact in his area of play. The passing flow improved in comparison to previous games, he was able to connect with both defense and attacking lines with ease. He played almost a fourth striker on some occasions, so his versatility was on full display throughout 90 minutes.

Of course, this also allowed both Keaton Parks and James Sands more freedom across the pitch. Both midfielders took on different roles as the minutes progressed, Sands fought for possession recovery near the defensive line, while Parks had probably one of his best games since returning from his injury.


He was everywhere, midfield, attacking, and defensive areas. He was able to have two shots at goal throughout the match. Had one of them gone in, the narrative of the match would have changed completely. Regardless, his work rate was spectacular, with perfectly timed passes and movements that gave the team smooth transitions between each line when it was needed. The man with 100 appearances (and counting) with NYCFC might as well be setting himself up for an individual award season if he continues to showcase this level of play.

Sands continues to settle with the team but is already feeling at home. His performance against Miami showcased that his role will continue to increase with each game that passes. At the moment, he emphasizes how young the team is and how much there’s still left to learn. “It’s a young team, it’s a hungry team where everyone has their own personal ambitions, and that can help us grow as a team. The ceiling is very high for this team”. He when on to add that winning is positive and that the game style would eventually come out with time.

NYCFC face a 9 dilemma: 

It was another frustrating night for Talles Magno in that striker position. The Brazilian doesn’t seem to either fit or be comfortable in that position. He was beaten on one-to-one occasions against defenders, and when he did have the advantage, his instinct was to pass the ball to someone in a more direct position.

I must clarify that my intention is not to criticize Talles Magno, my input goes toward him returning to his natural role on the wing. Why continue to force him in a position where he’s frustrating fans and himself? He was visibly frustrated after his substitution during the second half. I understand is very early in the season, but I believe the experiment to make him a striker might not be the best option. The situation is already affecting his confidence, and that’s something the team must avoid. Tales Magno is very good, just not where you want him to be. If anything, it’s time to look for a striker.

The team managed to get the 3 points and record a win in the end. But despite the gray areas in attack and the own goal that gave the team the victory, the man of the hour was Luis Barraza.

Via Juan Carlos Maygua of Empire Sports Media.

The goalkeeper had 24,489 fans behind him which saw him record his first clean sheet with NYCFC as well as two good saves throughout the match. Barraza continues to improve between the sticks and slowly claims that starting position spot with the team. Brian Cufre and Mitja Ilenic with honorable mentions as they both continue to put out great performances in each game that they take part in. The team now focuses on the upcoming match against D.C. United on Saturday at Yankee Stadium. 

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