NYCFC were hit with an untimely bye week, right when they’re playing their best soccer of this young season.
The ride is sweet. When it’s sweet, that’s usually when you’re going to have to make a stop.
After their rough start of the season, NYCFC are now in heaven. New York City FC defeated D.C. United who are currently second in the Eastern Conference. Moreover, they beat the third-place Montreal Impact as well as the formidable Los Angeles Galaxy, in the past three weeks.
Moreover, The Pigeons are unbeaten in seven matches while conceding four goals and setting a record with three straight shutouts away from home. And they have a new superstar, Brazilian striker, Heber Araujo dos Santos.
Heber is the lead singer of NYCFC’s turnaround. The Brazilian tallied three goals and two assists in his first seven outings with the club.
It’s a good time to be an NYCFC fan. No, it’s a great time to be an NYCFC fan. Unfortunately, right when the ride reached its sweetest part, after blanking the powerhouse Galaxy, 2-0, the team is forced to hit the brakes.
They are entering their bye week. The Pigeons won’t be flying again until May 25 when they take on Chicago Fire. This could shake the team’s momentum.
Last time NYCFC went at least a week without playing during the regular season didn’t go so well. They returned to action after a week-long hiatus and lost to D.C., 3-1, on Oct. 21, 2018. And the time before that, New York drew with the Montreal Impact, 1-1, on Sept. 22, 2018.
But of course, if NYCFC are truly as talented as their recent results show, they should have no problem staying in form after having a week off. Plus, their next opponent is Chicago, a side that’s riding an unconvincing 4-4-4 record who they edged 1-0 earlier in the season.
Although a bye week could disorient a team who just found their groove, it also comes with advantages. The players will rest, obviously. Rest is much needed for the Boys in Blue. NYCFC played their last five games within three weeks.
Players will also have time to fully recover from their injuries. Ebenezer Ofori missed the last game due to a core injury. Ronald Matarrita, Alexandru Mitrita, James Sands and Ben Sweat were all questionable to play, but all of them took part in the match except for Sweat.
Sean Johnson can also nurse his neck from getting choked by megastar Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
On the flip side, a major disadvantage from New York’s weekend off is that it will extend their time without playing at home. NYCFC will spend a month and two days without playing at Yankee Stadium.
Adding to game-like practices, another thing that could help The Bronx Blues be ready to step back on the pitch is constant motivational talks and reminders of the gameplan. Head coach Domenec Torrent and his colleagues have a lot on their plates this weekend.
Bye weeks are the coaches’ time to shine. A well-coached team will almost always come out of an off weekend the same way they entered it, if not better.