Time Running Out for NY Soccer Fans
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK (SPORTS)- Experienced NYC goalie Josh Saunders recently spoke of the crucial nature of the result of each match as the regular season nears its end, “It’s a playoff mentality. It’s essentially do or die every game.”
This is especially true for the expansion club that represents New York City, NYCFC (7-13-7). The club has loaded up with international superstars such as David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo. The three designated players are experienced in the highest levels of international competition, but are among the older aged players in the league.
The expectations on the club and from its fans have obviously been too high because of the acquisition of these international stars.
NYC coach Jason Kreis spoke about the newcomers after Saturday’s home loss to the Columbus crew SC, 2-1, “It’s unfair. They think [fans] we are supposed to win because of high paid and high profile stars. Not enough credit is given for how difficult it is. Expansion teams are set up not to succeed.”
One of new but experienced players, Andrea Pirlo of Juventus in Italy admitted problems that exist, “We have to try to improve. We have to not repeat the mistakes that allowed us to lose this game. We don’t do team play very well because we don’t know each other well.”
Before Saturday’s match with the Columbus Crew (11-8-8), Kreis stated his club’s plan, “We have to take these eight games one at a time. We have to put all of our focus and energy into this first game. It’s critical we get three points at home.”
His club lost the first of the eight and end points even more desperately if they are to qualify for the playoff. After this weekend’s loss, he said, “We need to win every game. We have seven games and 21 points available.”
The teams that competed seem to be traveling in opposite directions in the MLS standings. Columbus has won five games and drew in two of their last eight contests while NYC has won only two and drew one of their last eight matches. They are not compiling the points necessary to move forward into playoff contention.
A sell-out crowd of 30,018 attended the match on Saturday afternoon. The fans are still coming to Yankee stadium in large numbers. The next game at the Stadium will take place on Wednesday night, September 16.
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