Five Things

Five Points | Maxi Starts


New York City FC recorded a narrow defeat against Nashville SC on Saturday.

Tyler Boyd's goal was enough to hand the hosts a 1-0 win.

Here are Five Points from the game...

Maxi Starts

It was 294 days ago that Maxi Moralez ruptured his ACL.

The talented playmaker had already made his return (and recorded two assists) but in many ways, he completed his comeback on Saturday night in Nashville by starting the game.

Maxi’s influence was felt very early on. The Little Magician doesn’t always provide the defense-splitting pass but instead moves the chess pieces around the board to create spaces and opportunities.

Having that ability – to control the tempo – is what makes Maxi such a special player. His return to the first team fold, as a starter no less, will be a huge plus for the team.


Nick Cushing has not been afraid to make changes this week.

On Saturday, against Nashville, he used all of his available substitutes including making a triple substitution on the hour mark. That bold decision-making says two things about City’s coach and the squad.

Firstly, it represents a willingness from Cushing to change things when he feels the moment calls for it. Secondly, and just as importantly, is the ability to change things. City’s intensity only seemed to increase as the half wore on and much of that is down to the options on the bench.

Whether it’s Jovan Mijatović, Tayvon Gray, Malachi Jones, Andrés Perea, or Hannes Wolf, City have depth and strength that forced Nashville to defend for almost the entirety of the second half.

With City eager to make a deep run in multiple competitions this season that ability to change the personnel without forsaking quality or intensity could prove vital, even if it did not deliver the desired result on Saturday.

Hard Yards

City have certainly put the miles in this week as they took on two of the tougher challenges MLS has to offer in terms of road games.

Nick Cushing has consistently spoken about the challenge of claiming points on the road and that was clear to see this week.

Although City didn’t return with anything like the points haul they wanted, they can take some positives from this week, with periods of both games representing the kind of performance the team is more used to producing.

The Process

Nick Cushing has been consistent in discussing the process this team are undergoing.

One of Cushing’s central tenets has been maintaining a balance between never getting too high or too low. While disappointment may be felt after this week, it is only because of the high standard the team reached in the games that preceded these last three.

While the team’s victories have taught them things, these recent defeats will have been as informative, and with a home game on the horizon the key is now to take a breath and reset ahead of the challenge that is Orlando City SC.

Tough Luck

New York City’s inability to score on Saturday wasn’t for a lack of trying.

The visitors dominated the ball at GEODIS Park and outshot their opponents across the 90 minutes.

When studying the expected goals for the match City deserved at least a draw for their efforts, but fortune was not on their side.

Although that will do little to soften the blow right now, the players can take some comfort from being able to produce so many major components associated with a good road performance – and seek to apply them next time out.

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