In many respects, New York City’s 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution Saturday was a microcosm of its three-game home stand: a missed opportunity.
Despite enjoying a one-man advantage for the final 39 minutes, underachieving City failed to solve the Revs’ defense for the game-winner before a crowd of 23,425 at Yankee Stadium.
“A long time up a man,” Tommy McNamara said. “When its 10 vs. 11 you’ve got to find a way to score.”
In three home games the past 15 days, NYC FC secured only two out of a possible nine points, not exactly the way it wanted to start the season.
“Obviously we are worried,” team captain and striker David Villa said.
Coach Patrick Vieira was just as distressed.
“What I am really disappointed tonight is the way we played more than the result,” he said. “We made it really easy for them because of the way we played. We didn’t have our normal passing, we didn’t have our normal discipline and we didn’t respect our plan.”
Since kicking off the year with an innovative attacking formation that included three forwards and four midfielders in a 4-3 triumph at the Chicago Fire, City has stumbled with a 0-1-2 record, scoring but three times. That included a 2-2 tie with Toronto FC March 13 and a 1-0 loss to Orlando City last week.
“We had a bad game,” Villa said. “When you have one point its always better than getting none, but I was a lot happier after our game against Orlando.”
And that was a loss.
With the score at 1-1, it appeared the game was ready to swing in City’s favor when Gershon Koffie was red carded by referee Ricardo Salazar for tackling McNamara from behind in the 51st minute.
Instead of taking the initiative, NYC FC allowed the Revs to counterattack almost at will. The visitors nearly scored in the 75th minute when Charlie Davies rounded goalkeeper Josh Saunders, but his shot was cleared at the left post by Federico Bravo.
“We are happy with the point that we take tonight,” Vieira said. “New England deserved more from the game because they created better chances than we did.”
McNamara gave City a 1-0 lead, slotting home a rebound of Villa’s volley off the crossbar with goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth on the ground in the 10th minute.
The Revs equalized in the 37th minute after Tony Taylor fouled Koffie just outside the penalty area. Chris Tierney’s direct kick deflected off the head of City’s Steven Mendoza and past Saunders.
“We committed one error that let them score a goal,” Villa said.
While he might be worried, Villa noted that City is idle next weekend before welcoming Chicago to the stadium April 10 and that he was optimistic of righting the ship.
“We have a lot of time on our hands now,” he said. “There’s a lot of time left in the season.”