Thursday, June 20, 2024

NYCFC Starts Road Trip With Loss In LA


The Galaxy celebrate Dejan Joveljic's (9) first half goal. @LAGalaxy.

New York City Football Club's hot streak has ground to a halt, as they dropped their second straight game, this one on the road to the LA Galaxy, 2-0, on Wednesday night.

NYCFC, which had taken points out of eight of nine games before falling to Columbus last Friday at Yankee Stadium, is now 9-2-7, with 29 points, in fourth place in the MLS Eastern Conference. They are now two points behind the Red Bulls (8-7-4, 31 points) with a game in hand.

The LA Galaxy are in third in the Western Conference, and they improved to 9-7-3, with 34 points, tied in points with counterparts in the City of Angels, LAFC, who has the edge on wins, with a record of 10-4-4. Real Salt Lake leads the west with 37 points (10-7-2).

Dejan Joveljic gave the Galaxy the lead in the 41st minute when he buried a shot from the center of the box.

LA doubled their lead early in the second half when Joveljic and Gabriel Pac set up Diego Fagundez in the 49th minute.

This loss broke a three-game winning streak on the road for NYCFC. They are winless when they concede the first goal on the road, with a record of 0-4-1. It also marked the first time NYCFC was shutout since May 5 against the Colorado Rapids at Citi Field. 

Even though he gave up a pair of goals, NYCFC's goalkeeper Matt Freese made three saves has put him over the 100-save plateau in two years with the team, as he now has 101.

COACH'S COMMENTS: NYCFC Head Coach Nick Cushing spoke to the media after the game, and here's what he had to say:

On Malachi Jones' progression this season: "You've got a guy who is super hungry, wants to work, wants to improve, and sits with the coaches. If you're focused and you're tuned in, you're going to improve at the rate that you work, right? His work ethic is excellent. I actually don't think we used him enough in the first half. We should have just used him to go one-on-one against the fullback because he had them beaten. In the second half, you can see the moments that he creates. I say again, I think from those moments, you've got to create big chances."

On Matt Freese's performance in goal: "When you're going to push the game, especially here with [Joseph] Paintsil, [Gabriel] Pec and the offensive guys, when you're going to push the extra number in and you're going to chase the game, you're going to get counterattack [against you]. Luckily for us, in the Columbus game and in this game, when we give those counterattacks away, [Matt] comes up big for us. He couldn't do anything with the two goals, but the saves that he makes gives us the chance to continue to push the game."

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