Throughout the 2016 season it’s been clear that NYCFC’s problems in 2015 weren’t because of Jason Kreis.
NYCFC’s second season in Major League Soccer hasn’t started as they wished. In an effort to improve from their 2015 season where they missed the playoffs, the club’s management fired Jason Kreis and hired Frenchman Patrick Vieira. The team currently sits within the top six spots in their conference, but it’s still early. Also, the last two games have shown clearly that Jason Kreis wasn’t fully the reason why the team underwhelmed in their first season in MLS.
Two weeks ago NYCFC suffered an embarrassing loss to the New York Red Bulls. The 7-0 score made it appear as if the Red Bulls were doing something special. Instead, it was more that NYCFC were just being outplayed and didn’t show up in front of their home crowd. This matchup during rivalry week was supposed to be one of the better ones, but it quickly became one of the largest margins of victory and defeat in MLS history.
This past weekend NYCFC appeared to have woken up after their embarrassing defeat as they went up 2-0 against Orlando City SC. However, the defense started to crumble against the visitor’s assault. The game ended 2-2 after NYCFC’s David Villa took one of the worst penalty kicks and Pirlo got beat on defense and was ball watching as Orlando City scored the equalizer in stoppage time.
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Kreis should have never been fired after the 2015 season. The expectations from the top executives at NYCFC were way too high. They thought by slapping down a lot of money for some high-caliber signings would be enough to be successful in MLS. Yet, it wasn’t in 2015 and in 2016 those top signings are the achilles heel to the team’s success.
Yes, NYCFC would make the playoffs at this point, but the team is nowhere close to operating at an optimal level. David Villa found the net against Orlando City on Sunday, but his penalty kick attempt could have used a mulligan. Yet, there’s no do overs in soccer and NYCFC had to settle for a tie instead of three points at home.
At the same time, Pirlo stopped playing 100% with the clock ticking, and it cost the home team. If he properly marked his man off the set piece, then the ball would have been safely collected or cleared out of danger. Instead, the ball ends up in the goal off a header and NYCFC drops two critical points at home.
If NYCFC has any chance to be above the red line when the season comes to an end, then they must wake up. They also can’t afford to drop anymore points especially at home. The last two games have been underwhelming and Vieria has his work cut out for him to inspire and motivate his side moving forward, or else the 2016 season will become a nightmare real soon.