NYCFC's Offensive Attack Continues to Struggle in 2017
Brad Penner, USATSI

New York City’s poor attacking displays have seen them drop numerous points this season and must improve if NYC FC are to finish high again.

NYCFC’s 2-1 defeat to Orlando this past Sunday bore many similarities to their other performances, if not results. It was their first defeat at Yankee Stadium this season, but certainly not the first time that they struggled to break their opponent’s defense down and find an end product in the attacking third.

In their opening day defeat to Orlando, NYCFC were easily the dominant side, but created few chances against the hosts and failed to score. Their struggle to find a way past Orlando’s defense was not too great a concern at the time, as they were superior for much of the match and while they were unable to claim even a point, it was the opening day of the season. Their dominance throughout the match was surely a positive signal of future success.

They were rampant the following weekend when they defeated D.C United 4-0. Their possession and superiority were evident in the score.

However, only on this occasion were the New York side truly productive in the final third this campaign. They recorded a few victories since this fixture, but even in stronger results found it difficult to break the defense of their opponents down.

Their victory over San Jose was comfortable in that the California side hardly threatened after they scored early on, rather than in the sense that New York created numerous chances and forced save after save, as they did against D.C (on top of scoring four goals).

A clinical display at D.C United could have earned them at least a point, but their failure to take chances saw them depart the capital city with nothing.

Against the Union, Patrick Viera’s men were once again the better side, but required a spectacular long-range effort from captain David Villa to ensure all three points as they won 2-0. Many other chances fell their way, but the Yankee Stadium based were unable to convert many of them, and should well have scored a few more.

If the result of NYC’s meeting with Orlando was a surprise, the nature of the result certainly is not. The story of their defeat was nearly identical to those of their two other losses this season. New York found themselves in several dangerous positions throughout the first half, but nothing resulted from their play. Orlando headed into half time with the advantage, courtesy of Cyle Larin’s close range finish.

Larin’s second finish punished the home side’s tardy start to the second half, and though Villa’s goal brought the match within a goal of an even score, New York had no answer to the visitor’s defensive approach, save for one excellent opportunity on which the captain failed to capitalize.

The season is still early, but the regularity of their poor attacking performances is certainly a concern. Their performances had bread confidence due to not only the amount that they maintained the ball, but the dangerous positions of their possession. It was certainly fair to feel that eventually, dominance of matches and results would begin to correspond to one another.

Unfortunately, they have not and Patrick Viera has his team’s struggles in the attack to thank for that. This difficulty may have seen trivial in the opening weeks, but is now beginning to cost the boys in blue more and more points.

Alexander Puri is eighteen years of age and currently resides in Manhattan, where he has lived for his entire life. He plans to pursue media studies when he attends Boston University as a freshman this September. Alexander is a passionate soccer fan and supports Juventus, Liverpool FC, and NYCFC. He watches these clubs play on a regular basis and has written multiple articles about all three teams. He normally spends his weekends watching the English Premier League before participating in pickup-soccer games in numerous fields throughout the city. Outside of sports, Alexander takes great interest to science fiction and fantasy franchises and often reads comics and watches films of such genres. For any inquires, you can reach him at