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NYCFC not too concerned about current struggles

Photo by Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports

Things haven’t been going NYCFC’s way lately, but the club isn’t ready to panic just yet.

NYCFC could not make Miguel Camargo’s first MLS goal stand as Xavier Kouassi 86th minute equalizer saved a point for New England and forced NYCFC to settle for a draw.

The draw, which dropped NYCFC to fifth place with 21 points in the Eastern Conference table, is the latest in a string of disappointing results for the club, not that they’re too worried about it.

“It’s only one game. We’ve been doing really well this season,” Jack Harrison said. “It’s a team thing and we just allowed an unfortunate late goal today. I don’t think it’s anything to be concerned about.”

For what it’s worth, NYCFC has responded well after losses. The Blues were a perfect 4-0-0 coming off of their first four losses of the season, showing the ability to bounce back strong. Although Wednesday night’s match didn’t result in a loss, the Blues have struggled defensively as of late.

NYCFC has won just one of their last five matches and have allowed as many goals as they’ve scored (8).

“I don’t think it’s a problem with us,” Mikey Lopez said. “It’s just one game and I think we have the mentality and the team to be able to go pretty far in the league and the MLS Cup.

“Unfortunately today wasn’t the result that we wanted, but we know that we can grind these games out.”

The late-goal allowed off of a free-kick just outside the box was reminiscent of the 2016 squad that couldn’t finish a match throughout the first half of the season last year. Much like his players, head coach Patrick Vieira was just as frustrated.

“We can talk about conceding the goal late,” Vieira vented during his post-game presser, “We can talk about the number of chances we create. …But we have been naïve with the way we were defending.”

Vieira’s decision to sub Harrison in the 69th minute for defender Frederic Brillant shortly after Camargo’s then-go-ahead goal came under scrutiny due to the poor defending by the club in the final 20 minutes. Instead of staying aggressive in the attack, NYCFC played more defensively towards the end.

“We have to get back to the basics of defending,” Vieira said.

NYCFC will need to bounce back yet again, this time going into another quick turnaround this Saturday against the Philadelphia Union, another team that’s struggled on the road, winning just once away from home.

The day-game against the Union is the last of a stretch of three games in seven days. NYCFC will be off for the international break, returning to play on June 14 against the Red Bulls in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.

“Every game is a lesson,” Lopez said. “A win, lose or tie, every game is a lesson and this can make us better in the long run.”

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