NYCFC coach Ronny Deila is well aware of the repercussions of losing the first game in any group stage.
It puts immense pressure on the second game and that’s just where NYCFC are following a 1-0 defeat to the Philadelphia Union Thursday morning in the MLS is Back Tournament.
“If we want to have it in our hands, we need to win the next game,” Deila said. “If we draw, then it’s not in our own hands, but it’s still a possibility. We of course are going into it wanting to win and going for three points in the next game.”
Deila was encouraged by his team’s discipline and ability to create more opportunities than the Union and said there is plenty NYCFC can build upon heading into their next match against Orlando City SC July 14 (10:30 pm ET | TUDN, Twitter, TSN).
He felt the rare 9 am ET start time affected the game, but for both teams.
“It goes slower, of course, so you have to be more disciplined and you have to try to keep yourself together and compact,” Deila said. “If you get stretched and just go from side to side, it’s going to be a bad football game. Maybe fun to watch, but bad to look at as a coach. I think it was a tight game, two teams that are good teams. You can see not so many chances. When it was so hot, I think both teams were quite compact and handled the heat good.”
HIGHLIGHTS: New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union | July 9, 2020
Deila said Alexandru Mitrita picked up a knock in the team's last training session before the match and was unavailable against the Union. But he doesn’t anticipate the injury to be severe enough to keep him out of his selection against Orlando.
And Maxi Moralez was subbed off in the 76th minute after feeling discomfort in his quad.
“Hopefully that’s not too big, but he needed to go off,” Deila said.
The loss to the Union was NYCFC’s third in three league games — all by the same 1-0 scoreline. Right back Anton Tinnerholm said because of the four-month break analysis should be “separated a little bit,” noting the five goals scored in a win over San Carlos in their Concacaf Champions League opener in Costa Rica in February.
“We’ve been training really, really hard, a lot of running and I think we looked strong out there today,” Tinnerholm said. “We have to work a little bit the last third maybe. Of course, its frustrating to not score the goals.”
That said, Tinnerholm said the meeting against Orlando “is going to be crucial for us.”
And NYCFC will face an Orlando side brimming with confidence following a come-from-behind win over Inter Miami CF Wednesday night.
“They’re going to want to repeat their performance last night. It’s much more important for us so we have to come out with energy and we really have to go for it,” defender James Sands said. “There’s no holding back at this point. It is a must win and we need the three points.”