Manchester City and New York City Football Club CEO Ferran Soriano coasted across from Europe to observe Abu Dhabi based ADUG’s North American investment, train on Thursday.
Amid concerns among the club’s consistent let down since opening day for fans and owners, this surely was not the return on investment Sheikh Mansour’s team must have projected. They were sitting third from the bottom of the Eastern Conference, a position they least expected to be in before the season.
However, the trend continued as NYCFC hosted Chicago Fire at the Yankee Stadium on Friday. Yet, there was some good news. The club’s young prospect Khiry Shelton could not have chosen a better time to score his first goal in the Major League Soccer.
The rookie forward had his attempt find the back of the net in extra time as NYCFC recovered from two-goal down to earn a tie in front of a loud crowd of 23,315 – that too, as they played down a man.
To be honest, NYCFC have played attractive football at times. But for a team with so much expectations and of course, large financial backing, it would not be about achieving moral victories, rather the club would always be judged by its performances on the pitch to match the hype that existed.
With their winless lither up to eight, and losing streak at four, fans are anxious for the club to turn the switch on and living up to their potential. NYCFC has taken seven of thirty-three possible points, a mere six out of possible 21 points from within the Eastern Conference. At this point, it might be a little too early to state but seemingly nowhere close to a playoff place.
With that said, the fight and tenacity displayed be the group for that one point, will do this team wonders considering they do not shut off.
On what Friday night’s result meant going forward, Head Coach Jason Kreis was optimistic that this momentum is maintained. “I’m very hopeful that this is set as sort of a landmark for our group so that they understand that they can get results if they’re willing to do whatever it takes. I need them to understand and believe that we’re good enough if we work that hard. And if we don’t work that hard, we’re not going to be good enough,” said Kreis.
Moreover, its evident that the players look up to David Villa, the club’s designated athlete, to lead them and help them come through the difficult situations. David Villa is aware that he has his work cut out for him, but relayed similar sentiments after the match.
“I’ve been in this situation a few times in my career and to have the attitude that we had I feel that was fantastic. To score two goals and not concede any was unbelievable. I think that we needed this and I think that is going to be a good morale boost ahead of the next game against Real Salt Lake,” David Villa said on playing with 10 men for most of the match.
New York City FC travel west for a match against head coach Jason Kreis’ former team, Real Salt Lake, on Saturday, May 23. If you are an NYCFC fan residing in the Middle East, you can catch the game early in the morning at 6:00 am through OSN or while you are on your way to work through OSN Play. Just make sure you are on the passenger side if you are watching it in the car.