New York City FC have no issues with their effort vs. New England despite coming away empty-handed

It was an ‘A’ for effort, but something much less in terms of execution for New York City FC, who fell to the New England Revolution, 1-0, Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

It was the expansion side’s second loss in eight matches, while the Revs snapped a five-match losing streak.

Even in the worst of times this season, NYCFC coach Jason Kreis has lauded his team’s effort and that remained true in Foxborough. But his team, which had won three straight away from home, lacked fluidity in the attacking third and had few scoring opportunities.

“We never gave up. We kept working,” midfielder Andrew Jacobson said. “From the first minute, we put in the effort. We just need to keep improving tactically, just keep going.”

An early-season bugaboo came back to haunt NYCFC as they conceded inside the opening half hour when Lee Nguyen scored his third of the season in the 12th minute.

Any hopes of a second-half comeback were all but dashed when veteran midfielder Ned Grabavoy was sent off with a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Daigo Kobayashi in the 54th minute.

Still, NYCFC nearly earned a share of the points late when defender Chris Wingert bounced his stoppage-time attempt on frame, but Revs goalkeeper Brad Knighton made the save.

“Really, really pleased with the guys effort,” Kreis said. “They gave everything that they had. They stuck together. They gave us a chance in the end. To be down a man for as long as we were and have a chance there at the end, I think that’s meaningful.”

While NYCFC will be without Grabavoy and Jason Hernandez (yellow card accumulation), who returned after missing the last two matches to injury, the club could be bolstered by the expected debut of Frank Lampard and possibly Andrea Pirlo for next Sunday’s home game against Orlando City.

“This is another big game for us,” midfielder Kwadwo Poku said. “We tied the first time we met them. A win versus Orlando would be really great. We always say we want to make the playoffs, so we will try and fight as hard as possible to make it.”