The major takeaways from NYCFC’s 1-1 draw against Montreal come at you in the form of many positives and negatives.
New York City battled hard against the Montreal Impact on Saturday, but were unable to come away with three points in their second home match of the season. Dominic Oduro’s second-half equalizer canceled out Rodney Wallace’s first half goal, as the two sides battled to a 1-1 stalemate.
The draw has NYCFC stuck with four points after three games, with one win, one loss and one draw. Here are some takeaways from the match:
1-1 is still a Good Result
Seriously, it is. Montreal were Conference Finalists a year ago, and have one of the premier playmakers in MLS with Ignacio Piatti. Despite being at home, this was always going to be a tough match for NYCFC. Montreal held NYCFC to 57 percent possession and had one more shot on target than the hosts.
Piatti hitting the post in the 45th minute was a huge let off, and despite creating more clear-cut chances, NYCFC could have easily lost this game. A draw against an Eastern Conference powerhouse is nothing to be ashamed of.
Rodney Wallace was terrific
The Costa Rican international had a dream home debut against DC United, scoring the opening goal and assisting David Villa for the second. This week, he was just as good — he scored the opener, a carbon copy of his goal last week, jumping on a rebounded shot and bundling the ball over the line.
Wallace also created NYCFC’s two best scoring chances of the night– in the first half, he had a neat through ball through to Villa, whose chip just missed the near post. In the second half, he finished a counter attack by finding Maxi Moralez wide open in the box, but the Argentine missed wide. Wallace was easily the Man of the Match and was unlucky not to add two more assists.
Vieira all about continuity early on
Manager Patrick Vieira has made one lineup change in three games — RJ Allen started at right back in the opener, and Ethan White has started the last two matches. Other than that, he’s used the same ten players in his starting lineup.
Clearly, Vieira is on to something. NYCFC have been the better side in all three of their matches thus far, and while they need to find their cutting edge in front of goal, the foundation of a title contender is certainly in place. Vieira has this group working together as a cohesive unit.
Aerial defending potentially an issue at present
Not to nitpick, but NYCFC’s much-improved defense might have a problem — aerial defending.
NYCFC have conceded twice this season — Cyle Larin rose up to head in a cross at the back post in the opener, and a long over the top through ball found Oduro, who chested down and finished neatly. Additionally, Montreal won 65 percent of aerial duels throughout that match, according to Who Scored.
It might not be the biggest issue, but it is worth noting that the back line should be vigilant of conceding through the air.