New York City FC left searching for answers as Red Bulls extend winless skid: "We've hit rock bottom"

HARRISON, N.J. – The search for answers continues as the losses keep mounting for New York City FC.

A 2-1 defeat to the New York Red Bulls Sunday night at Red Bull Arena extended the expansion side’s winless streak to eight games, with losses in six of the last seven.

“We have to continue to work hard,” forward David Villa said postgame. “We’ve hit rock bottom and we need to work harder and look forward to the next game.”

NYCFC trailed after just four minutes when a wide-open Bradley Wright-Phillips tapped in a Lloyd Sam cross from the edge of the six-yard box, sending the sellout crowd of 25,217 into a frenzy. 

“It was crushing, but credit to the Red Bulls,” NYCFC coach Jason Kreis said. “I thought they came out with a tremendous amount of energy and put us under, as we knew they would. But we just had a couple of mental errors there.”

A break fell NYCFC’s way in the 36th minute when Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga was sent off by referee Alan Kelly for his second bookable offense.

Sensing a chance to equalize, NYCFC pushed numbers forward – a bit too early, Kreis would admit – and Wright-Phillips punished them on a brilliant counterattack in the 52nd minute.

“It just feels like this momentum against us right now is such a headwind,” midfielder Ned Grabavoy said. “We’re trying anything and everything we can to break out of this and start finding results.”

In a four-minute span in the second half, Kreis took off his two highest-profile players – Villa and Mix Diskerud. Villa, Kreis said, was a precautionary substitute because he is coming off a few injuries.

That wasn’t the case with Diskerud, who was not made available to the media after the match.

“I thought Mix was just not great tonight,” Kreis said. “I thought he was kind of in and around things and not making plays either in the attacking half or the defensive half.

“We need to recognize we’re not all going to have great games all the time and we have guys on the bench we believe in. We’ll make those changes if we need to.”

While frustrations are at a season high, Grabavoy said the team is trying to remain positive.

“Obviously it’s frustrating, but you have to also remind yourself that at some point if you keep doing the right things, it’s going to turn your way,” he said. “That’s what we’ll keep preaching.”

Added Kreis: “At some point a bounce or two will go our way.”

Stay connected: Receive breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters from our FREE mobile app or "The Kick Off" newsletter.