Interim New York City FC coach Nick Cushing feels the club must blood their young talents in order for them to progress forward, with the boss hailing his side’s youth stars ahead of a trip to FC Dallas in MLS.
The Big Apple outfit picked up an important victory under their makeshift manager following Ronny Deila’s exit, with victory over New England at the weekend.
That has helped spark a wave of belief under his stewardship, particularly in relation to some of their fresher faces – and the Englishman sees no reason why they should not figure in his plans going forward.
“I believe in young players,” Cushing stated. “I believe that here in New York we have some real talent in our academy and that shows with the likes of Tayvon Gray, Justin Haak, Andres Jasson.
“The only way we’re going to improve them is through working hard on the training pitch and then trusting them in games. We did that in Cincinnati and Justin showed he can play in this team.
“He is a valued member of this team, and I think if we need him he can come into games if Nicolás Acevedo or Alfredo Morales gets tired we can bring him in and I thought he was really good today. We are responsible for pushing him and creating another Homegrown product for New York City.”
Opposite number Nico Estevaz meanwhile is more happy that he won’t have to compete another derby game this week, following a wild 2-2 draw with Houston.
Dallas’ rivals introduced Hector Herrera into the equation throughout a madcap match, and the coach certainly feels opposition sides can get big lifts from star players with strong European legacies.
“Every time a team signs a big player like Hector [who] is coming from Europe [and has had] a great career there, it gives confidence to the teammates,” he noted. “I think it helped them.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Dallas – Jesus Ferreira
The Texas side have had a dangerous man up front in Ferreira this term, with his haul of 11 goals from 19 on-target attempts making him one of the most dangerous marksmen in MLS this season.
NYCFC – Valentin Castellanos
The Big Apple attacker is even more fearsome though, with a competition-leading 12 finishes to his name this term. The fact he has managed it in just 15 games – three or four less than most of his rivals – is double impressive.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Four of the six all-time meetings between FC Dallas and New York City have ended in draws, with each team winning once at home, with both teams scoring in all six games. Only Portland vs. New England (8/11 – 72.7%) has a higher draw rate than Dallas vs. New York City FC (4/6 – 66.7%, min. 6 meetings).
– FC Dallas drew, 2-2, at Houston on Saturday, conceding an equalizing goal in the 11th minute of stoppage time. Teenage Hadebe’s goal for Houston at 90’+10:28 was the latest open play goal in MLS history as the only later goal in league history was a Patryk Klimala penalty for the Red Bulls against NYCFC (90’+11:24) last September.
– New York City FC won three penalties (converting two) in the first half of its 4-2 win over the Revolution on Saturday. NYCFC became the first team in MLS history to be awarded three penalties in a single match.
– Jesús Ferreira scored what appeared to be the winning goal for Dallas in the third minute of stoppage time on Saturday against Houston, his 11th goal in 19 appearances this season. The last FC Dallas player with more goals after 19 appearances of a season was Kenny Cooper (13) in 2008.
– Valentín Castellanos scored two of NYCFC’s four goals against New England on Saturday. It was his sixth multi-goal home game since the start of the 2021 season, twice as many as any other player in the league in that time.