New York City FC’s well-documented home venue problem typically is thought of as an off-field issue as the club continues searching for a permanent spot in the five boroughs.
Early in 2021, home woes appear to be an on-field issue as well.
NYCFC dropped points at home for the third consecutive time out Saturday, falling to the New England Revolution in its secondary venue of Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
City fought back twice to level the score in the second half, but an 88th minute goal by former NYCFC midfielder Tommy McNamara put the Revs ahead for good. New England keeper Matt Turner lived up to his reputation as one of MLS’s best with a seven-save night, including an early penalty stop to keep the game scoreless.
NYCFC dropped to 3-2-3 (11 points) this season, including a 1-1-2 home record. City’s lone home win came on April 24 — a 5-0 win over last-place FC Cincinnati at Yankee Stadium. The club has lost both matches it's played at Red Bull Arena this year.
"I felt like we never had full control of the game defensively but offensively we were dangerous and created chances," said NYCFC coach Ronny Deila. "We can talk as much as we want but we have to take chances when we have them."
City trailed at halftime after Gustavo Bou scored his third goal of the season in the 27th minute for New England. Bou struck a volley from outside the box that took a deflection off a NYCFC defender, throwing off Sean Johnson enough to find the net.
NYCFC leveled when Thiago Andrade, making his first MLS appearance after subbing on at halftime, opened his scoring account in the 55th minute. Andrade, 20, corralled a ball into the box with a soft first touch and easily finished.
The Revs went ahead in the 78th minute when defender Jon Bell scored the first of his MLS career, redirecting a cross while a sleepy City defense left him unmarked in the center of the box, only for Ismael Tajouri-Shradi to tie it again in the 85th minute by cleaning up a loose ball off a corner kick.
New England regained the lead for good just three minutes later when Tajon Buchanan’s low cross slithered through the NYCFC backline, finding McNamara for the winner.
New York City FC should have found its way on the board in the first half, but a few opportunities went unfulfilled.
Jesús Medina earned a penalty for NYCFC in the 10th minute when he was taken down by Andrew Farrell on the right side of the box during a break. After a long VAR check, Valentín Castellanos stepped to the spot and fired low and to the left, but nearly close enough to the post to beat a keeper as skilled as Matt Turner, who got his hand on it to keep the Revolution level.
Castellanos had another chance not too long after when he got behind the New England defense and received a pinpoint pass from Maxi Moralez. Turner, however, stayed strong on a point-blank shot by Castellanos, and a handball by the Argentine after the rebound ended the chance.
Talles Magno, NYCFC’s new 18-year-old designated player, made his first MLS start, and he played like a teenager making his full debut. While there were signs of the player the club hopes to see, he also was muscled off the ball on a few occasions and eventually was removed at the break for Andrade.