Five Points: Frustration
New York City Football Club fell to defeat against FC Cincinnati on Wednesday night.
Braian Cufré netted his first goal for the Boys in Blue, after Luciano Acosta and Álvaro Barreal had struck for the visitors, but Brandon Vazquez's penalty restored the two-goal advantage for the Supporters Shield leaders to take the win.
Here are Five Points from the clash at Yankee Stadium...
Not Our Night
In the midst of a difficult run, everything seems to go against you.
That certainly rang true in this encounter. From a harshly disallowed goal, to hitting the crossbar; to a penalty conceded right after finding a route back into the game... It was a tough one to take.
The City Boys dominated on the offensive front, recording more than 60% of possession and more shots (12-11 with six on target) - but were ultimately undone by clinical Cincinnati finishing, and some hard luck on the offensive front.
A fiery stop-start contest too with tempers flaring, it was difficult to get into rhythm, while the visitors were content to take their chances when they came, showcasing their quality in attack.
The NYCFC squad are doing their best to remain positive however - confident our fortunes will improve, as Tony Alfaro declared: "A game like that is kind of frustrating. With everything that happened, it was a lot of emotions up and down. Overall, it is a learning process, and I think we have just got to move forward and keep going, and our luck will change."
It was always going to be a challenging night against the Eastern Conference and Supporters Shield leaders - but there was no question the Boys in Blue left it all on the field.
Desperate for a positive result, the hosts started brightly and battled throughout, showing character to claw themselves back into the contest to try and salvage what would have been a valuable point.
Though ultimately the penalty call killed hope of a comeback, the team gave their all right to the end.
"I thought they showed everything we have," Nick Cushing reflected. "This team has been reflecting and reviewing on performance and moments - the good and the bad - for many weeks now.
"What you saw was a team that was fighting for our Football Club, that was competing against a difficult team, a confident team, a big team - a team top of the league. I saw a group of players (and a lot of those players haven't played a lot of football) fighting for New York City."
Match Highlights | NYCFC 1-3 FC Cincinnati
Turnbull Turns Up
There was some positive news for the City Boys, as three players lined up for their full MLS debuts for the Club: Matt Freese, Tony Alfaro and Stephen Turnbull.
Freese and Alfaro had both completed the full 90 minutes in the US Open Cup trip to Cincinnati, while Turnbull had made cameo appearances from the bench against Chicago Fire and New England Revolution.
The 25-year-old defender has been a regular for NYCFC II in MLS NEXT Pro action with 26 games under his belt, and earned the nod from Cushing for his maiden first-team start, producing an impressive display.
Playing the full game, he contributed at both ends of the pitch to earn deserved praise from his Head Coach.
"I thought he was excellent," Cushing stated. "He showed that he is an MLS player. He's played in our MLS II team, he has proved he is a good right full-back.
"He still needs to perform in a back four if we change back to it - he still has to develop, he still has to knuckle down and work - but for a guy that hasn't played, to start the game for us, to come in at this moment at home, when we're asking for real fight, real desire and real confidence, he showed he is a real valued member of our squad."
Another piece of good news saw midfielder Alfredo Morales make a welcome return to action.
The 33-year-old had missed the four previous games, having struggled to build momentum this term following last season's struggles with injury.
Introduced on the hour after Cincinnati had doubled their lead through Barreal's sensational free-kick, Morales made an instant impact, crafting a superb assist for Cufré's goal.
Swerving a pinpoint delivery into the box with the outside of his boot for the defender to nod home, it was the moment of magic City needed, and hopefully a platform for Morales to build on as he continues his comeback.
Of course, it was also a special moment for Cufré to open his account with the Club. The defender had shown his offensive threat throughout the campaign, and was unfortunate to have also seen a cross-shot crash back of the crossbar.
Once again, there is very little time to stew on the setback with another game in a matter of days. City welcome New England Revolution to Yankee Stadium on Saturday, looking to complete this three-game home stand on a positive note.
Speaking after Wednesday night's game, Cushing hailed the unwavering support from the NYCFC fans, highlighting their importance in helping the team to turn things around.
"I am so proud of our fans," he added. "It was incredible to see the fans behind us after the run we're on. It's difficult to support a team that isn't getting results, but I really appreciate the support. The players need those fans behind them, the players need to feel the support.
"There was a fan right behind me who was so positive throughout the whole game. She was incredible. When the players are low on confidence, and the results aren't going our way, and the calls aren't going our way, and the game is like it was, we need those people. We need the fans behind us.
"This will turn for us, and we will continue to fight on. It will make us stronger, we'll use it, and this will turn for us. We know with the way we're performing that we will start winning football games."
New York City Football Club are back in The Bronx on Saturday, entertaining New England Revolution at Yankee Stadium in our final game of a three-match home stand.
The clash kicks off at 3:30pm ET on June 3, and tickets are available.
Sign-up for MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app - and never miss a moment of the 2023 season. Stream every regular-season, playoff, and Leagues Cup match. Every Screen. No Blackouts.
• Discuss this story on the Major League Soccer message board...
Major League Soccer Stories from June 1, 2023
- Concacaf Champions League Trophy on the Line as LAFC Hosts Club León at BMO Stadium Sunday, June 4 at 6 PM - Los Angeles FC
- Inter Miami CF Parts Ways with Phil Neville - Inter Miami CF
- Minnesota United Waives Doneil Henry - Minnesota United FC
- Nashville Soccer Club Travels to North Texas to Take on FC Dallas - Nashville SC
- New England Revolution M Carles Gil Voted MLS Player of the Matchday Presented by Continental Tire for Matchday 16 - New England Revolution
- New England Revolution Midfielder Carles Gil Voted MLS Player of the Matchday Presented by Continental Tire for Matchday 16 - MLS
- Columbus Crew Celebrate "Soccer for All" Throughout June 2023 - Columbus Crew SC
- City for All: St. Louis City SC Makes Citypark Accessible to Fans with Disabilities - St. Louis City SC
- Earthquakes Goalkeeper Daniel and Head Coach Luchi Gonzalez Named to MLS Team of the Matchday - San Jose Earthquakes
- Álvaro Barreal Named to MLS Team of the Matchday for Matchday 16 - FC Cincinnati
- FC Dallas Announces June Promotions for Matches at Toyota Stadium - FC Dallas
- Earthquakes Launch Ninth Annual Military Blitz Day Campaign Presented by Ariat - San Jose Earthquakes
- Miles Robinson Called-Up to USMNT Nations League Roster - Atlanta United FC
- Metro by T-Mobile Kicks off Multi-Year Sponsorship of LAFC as Official Wireless Partner - Los Angeles FC
- Opportunities out Wide: Ingredients of the Match - Charlotte FC
- Drake Callender Called up by USMNT for Training Camp - Inter Miami CF
- Brightline Kicks off Partnership with Orlando City SC and Orlando Pride - Orlando City SC
- Philadelphia Union Sign Midfielder Jose Martinez to New Contract - Philadelphia Union
- FC Cincinnati Announce Seventh Sellout of Season for Saturday's Match against Chicago Fire FC - FC Cincinnati
- Five Points: Frustration - New York City FC
- Tours of Toyota Stadium and Soccer Center Are Now Available to the General Public - FC Dallas
- Run It Back: 50 Per Cent off Drinks Returns for the Canadian Championship Final - Vancouver Whitecaps FC
- Moments of Matchday 16 - MLS
- Quakes Earn First Road Win Of The Season, Ebobisse Scores Sixth Goal Of The Season - San Jose Earthquakes
- Sounders FC Falls 1-0 at Home Wednesday Evening to San Jose - Seattle Sounders FC
- Whitecaps FC Down Dynamo FC 6-2 - Vancouver Whitecaps FC
- LA Galaxy Earn 3-2 Road Win Over Real Salt Lake at America First Field on Wednesday Night - LA Galaxy
- Sporting Earns 2-1 Win Over Dallas - Sporting Kansas City
- 10-Man Houston Dynamo FC Fall on the Road to Vancouver Whitecaps FC - Houston Dynamo FC
- Minnesota United Suffers Narrow 2-1 Loss on the Road at Austin FC - Minnesota United FC
- Real Salt Lake Fall 3-2 at Home to LA Galaxy - Real Salt Lake
- FC Dallas' Road Comeback Falls Short Against Sporting Kansas City - FC Dallas
- Inter Miami CF Falls to New York Red Bulls - Inter Miami CF
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent New York City FC Stories
- Council Member Francisco Moya Kicks off Holiday Season with Sixth Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive
- NYCFC Pair Selected for International Duty
- NYCFC Edges Inter Miami CF, 2-1
- New York City Football Club to Participate in the 2024 Coachella Valley Invitational
- Forward Gabriel Segal Returns to New York City Football Club from Loan