New York City F.C are missing a true number nine and it has affected their results to start the season. With two wins, three draws, and two losses, New York currently sits in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Despite taking two important draws against top teams in the East, New York continue to struggle from the striker position.
The departure of Valentin Castellanos hurt the club, leaving the number nine spot voided. Most of their goals since he left has come from the midfield or the wings. Talles Magno’s tried to move into the forward position, however it limits him from creating chances when playing up top.
With Atlanta visiting the Bronx on Saturday, Magno was all over the left side of the field. However, when he got to the box, there was not one player in blue in sight. Because of this, Magno totaled just two crosses and two chances created, which does not reflect his true performance.
After going down to Atlanta 1-0, they quickly responded with Gabriel Pereria scoring a wonderful goal to tie the game. Again, their goals are coming from the midfield and not from the forward position. New York have tried new signing Gabe Segal in the forward position, but has yet to impress with just two shots (one on target) in the last two matches.
This will be an issue if they cannot find a goal scorer to deliver from the number nine position. Despite having more chances on goal compared to Atlanta, they cannot seem to connect in the final third.
This sparks the question if New York should consider getting a natural striker to fill in that number nine role. Right now, the market is not great with strikers. With a team that has lost several key players in the offseason, the club will need time to replace all those players in various key positions.
Seems like for the moment New York will have to work with what they have. Head coach Nick Cushing is willing to accept that there are spots that need to be filled. However, he will work with what he has Back in January he said:
“I think we’ve seen over many years that we can spot talent and we can add talent, whether that’s in the academy and growing our talent or it’s adding through the transfer market. We’ll be patient, we’ll make sure that we have the right players. And those players can continue the growth of this team over many years – not just this season in the short-term, but over many years.”
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