Andrea Pirlo is acclimating to MLS, Frank Lampard still finding full fitness and David Villa was just a shade off of his brilliant season form in New York City FC’s 2-0 loss to the Red Bulls on Sunday.
Given the stage, however, and NYC’s zero points from nine in the New York Derby, plenty are perplexed if not angry with the expansion club’s non-playoff pace. This was supposed to be “Yes Pirlo, Yes Party”, not “No Defense, No Playoffs”.
And it feels awfully symbolic that one of their new stars got ‘megged by a borderline journeyman in the run-up to an insurance goal.
Yep, New York City is in trouble. The meticulously-planned side that many pegged to make the playoffs under managing wizard Jason Kreis is four points back of the final spot and faces a murderer’s row of opponents on the run towards the postseason.
Lampard, however, is here to remind you that the club is going to be fine. Their three marquee pieces need time to gel, and Sunday’s match was the first with all three in the Starting XI.
“I think particularly from my point of view I’m going to get fitter and stick those chances away that didn’t quite go in today,” Lampard said. “I’m sure the three of us can help contribute and the whole team can improve in the weeks to come.”
Key word: improve. While it’d be unwise to rule out Pirlo, Lampard and Villa combining with Mix Diskerud and Kwadwo Poku to lead the club into the Top Six, consider this gauntlet moving forward:
Thursday vs. DC United
Aug. 19 at Columbus
Aug. 23 at Los Angeles
Aug. 29 vs. Columbus
Sept. 12 at Dallas
Sept. 16 vs. Toronto
Sept. 19 vs. San Josee
Sept. 26 at Vancouver
Oct. 2 at DC United
Oct. 16 at Orlando City
Oct. 25 vs. New England
Given that schedule, it seems more likely New York will slide into the basement than pass Orlando and Montreal. What do you think? Can NYC make up ground?