New York City FC went into Atlanta over the weekend with a chance to prove that they were one of the top teams in the East. Unfortunately they bumped up against the fast-paced Atlanta United offense and ended up on the losing end of a 2-1 scoreline. The game moved quickly and City was able to keep up but Josef Martinez was too much for the City defense.
“They could have scored at least six goals,” said head coach Dome Torrent after the game. “I don’t like these kinds of games. The reason why is, sometimes it’s the opening, because it is our problem when we play that way. You can take risks the same. The people are confused about that. They think, if you play short you take a risk. No, when you play the long ball you take a risk.”
City played their third game in eight days and went in without Heber at the top of their offense. Instead, Alexandru Mitrita and Valentin Castellanos led the line but provided little spark. It was Heber’s introduction late in the game that brought some life with an 81st minute goal. Until then, Atlanta and Martinez in particular picked apart the offense, opening up a two-goal lead before teh 70th minute.
The loss not only continues the seesaw nature of results over the summer but also deprives City of a major win in 2019. Thus far they have appeared on the cusp of toppling one of the better teams in the league but seem to fall short. Yes they have wins against Philadelphia, but Atlanta and New York have proven to be the gate keepers that City can’t seem to get past.
“We have to find solutions,” said captain Alex Ring. “At the moment we are having problems with that and we have a week’s time until Cincinnati. We have to probably work on it in training.”
NYCFC will remain on the road as they travel to Nippert Stadium to play a dismal FC Cincinnati team. It should be a chance to gain their confidence back but this is MLS and strange results seem to happen each week.