MVMs (Most Valuable Moments) 2021

FootyLovin

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Reflecting on this week. Watching the Behind the Scenes from the win. So much joy.

Got me thinking about alternative realities, turning points from which we might never have been able to recover to achieve what we did. On the field. Off the field. Actions. Words. Anything.

What if Taty or Chanot or Heber or Ronny or CFG or MLS or anyone or anything had been different? What are the moments that were most crucial? The ones that had they happened differently we would most likely not be MLS champions?
 
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FootyLovin

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1. Gudi free kick against Atlanta. Time running out. Scoring draught for seemingly forever. Three days removed from dropping 3 points to NJ. Playoff hopes dimming. Without that kick we lose that game. We lose the point in the standings. Do we win 10 out of the next 12 points as we did? Does the team erupt for 6 in the next match against DC? Does #deilaout become more than a hashtag? Even if we still win 10 of our next 12 points, all other things happening as they happened we finish with 50 behind both ATL and ORL. No home playoff match. I think the mountain is so much steeper. Without that freekick, I don't think we win MLS Cup.

2. Magno 88' winner against Philly. Again, time running out. Without that goal we almost certainly go to a second straight extra time. 30 more minutes on those legs, even if we win, makes for a very different team in Portland. Just looking at how we played against an undermanned Philly, if that's the game we brought last Saturday, I think Valeri gets his fairytale ending.

3. That's our Johnson blocks Valeri's PK. SJ's first block was big, but then Clark blocks Alfredo. If Valeri scores next it is a perfect reprise of the match as a whole. NYCFC scores but then loses the lead in dramatic fashion. The goal would have been slightly less dramatic than their 94' equalizer but coming from their all time great in his last kick as a Timber, it would have been extremely heartening to them. More importantly, would it have been unsettling to us. Our next PK taker was Maxi. How different is his PK coming to the spot with a 1-1 tie where we just lost the lead. Instead, up 2-1 he is loose and nails his shot. If SJ doesn't block Valeri I say at best we are back to a coin flip. But more likely I think POR would have been favored to win from there.

Those are my 3. All on field. I have a couple of off field MVM considerations. But I'll leave it at this for now.
 

JayH

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I don't think I can do it better than mgarbowski mgarbowski wrote previously about Ronny's off the field influence on the club morale and culture. But I think that the stuff we didn't see in the locker room and during training during our rough patch coming from RD, coaches and our leaders heavily contributed to the rebound which allowed us to make our Cup run. Many clubs would not have recovered from that, instead would have continued to spiral, would have turned on each other, the coaches, etc. How many times do we hear about a coach "losing the locker room" during a roller coaster like that. That didn't happen here and this club was as cohesive, close, supportive as we have seen in our short history.
 

mgarbowski

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Some in-season moments that prevented mini-slumps from getting bigger. All before the actual big slump:

Game 7 at LAFC. This came just after the horrific RBA loss to Columbus with the 2 Zelarayan direct free kicks at 82 and 90+5. Goals by Medina at 70 and Shradi at 90 erase a 1-0 deficit. After a number of negative results that seemed undeserved, this was the first positive that felt undeserved. LA was better that day. At the time, nobody knew how much LAFC would slip in 2021. As it was, NYCFC finished top of the league in xPts and LAFC was second, but while NYC underperformed, LAFC did so by much more. Maybe things go different if this game ends different. It also is a nice reflection of how much both Medina and Sharadi contributed the first 30-40% of the season when there was nobody but them and Taty to score.

Game 10 DC (RBA). The third of 3 straight Home Games at RBA. After a loss to New England, and a bare 1-0 win over Atlanta, NYC fell behind 1-0 to DC United in minute 9. Goals from subs Keaton Parks at 84 and Thiago at 90+5 prevented RBA from feeling even less like home. NYCFC did less well at RBA in 2021 than in 2020, but counting both years, the team has the same PPG all time at Yankee Stadium as at RBA: 2.00.

Game 13 Montreal (RBA). Yet another RBA game. After a shaky first 2 games, both losses, stepping in for Johnson who was on USMNT duty, Barazza gets his first MLS win, clean sheet and an assist on Shradi's goal as NYC win 1-0. Barazza gives up just 1 goal in the next 2 games, both wins, and is able to hand off a 3-game win streak to Johnson. Which the team then blew the very next game despite a Johnson clean sheet because NYCFC was shutout for the first time in 25 games by a middle schooler.

One thing I find is interesting is that all three of these games seemed at the time like they could be like the Atlanta Gudi free kick game FootyLovin FootyLovin listed, and maybe start a great run. But they weren't and they didn't. All they did was stop the bleeding temporarily. But you never can tell at the time, and sometimes that's enough.
 

Mkdaman1818

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1. Gudi free kick against Atlanta. Time running out. Scoring draught for seemingly forever. Three days removed from dropping 3 points to NJ. Playoff hopes dimming. Without that kick we lose that game. We lose the point in the standings. Do we win 10 out of the next 12 points as we did? Does the team erupt for 6 in the next match against DC? Does #deilaout become more than a hashtag? Even if we still win 10 of our next 12 points, all other things happening as they happened we finish with 50 behind both ATL and ORL. No home playoff match. I think the mountain is so much steeper. Without that freekick, I don't think we win MLS Cup.

2. Magno 88' winner against Philly. Again, time running out. Without that goal we almost certainly go to a second straight extra time. 30 more minutes on those legs, even if we win, makes for a very different team in Portland. Just looking at how we played against an undermanned Philly, if that's the game we brought last Saturday, I think Valeri gets his fairytale ending.

3. That's our Johnson blocks Valeri's PK. SJ's first block was big, but then Clark blocks Alfredo. If Valeri scores next it is a perfect reprise of the match as a whole. NYCFC scores but then loses the lead in dramatic fashion. The goal would have been slightly less dramatic than their 94' equalizer but coming from their all time great in his last kick as a Timber, it would have been extremely heartening to them. More importantly, would it have been unsettling to us. Our next PK taker was Maxi. How different is his PK coming to the spot with a 1-1 tie where we just lost the lead. Instead, up 2-1 he is loose and nails his shot. If SJ doesn't block Valeri I say at best we are back to a coin flip. But more likely I think POR would have been favored to win from there.

Those are my 3. All on field. I have a couple of off field MVM considerations. But I'll leave it at this for now.
In addition to 3, I think about SJ’s saved penalty against New England that won us the shootout. We gave up that last minute goal in extra time to tie the game, looked doomed for sure… and he was the hero. When the same thing happened in the Final, it felt like we still had it all to play for, because we had lived it just a few weeks before.
 

FredMertz

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1. Gudi free kick against Atlanta. Time running out. Scoring draught for seemingly forever. Three days removed from dropping 3 points to NJ. Playoff hopes dimming. Without that kick we lose that game. We lose the point in the standings. Do we win 10 out of the next 12 points as we did? Does the team erupt for 6 in the next match against DC? Does #deilaout become more than a hashtag? Even if we still win 10 of our next 12 points, all other things happening as they happened we finish with 50 behind both ATL and ORL. No home playoff match. I think the mountain is so much steeper. Without that freekick, I don't think we win MLS Cup.

2. Magno 88' winner against Philly. Again, time running out. Without that goal we almost certainly go to a second straight extra time. 30 more minutes on those legs, even if we win, makes for a very different team in Portland. Just looking at how we played against an undermanned Philly, if that's the game we brought last Saturday, I think Valeri gets his fairytale ending.

3. That's our Johnson blocks Valeri's PK. SJ's first block was big, but then Clark blocks Alfredo. If Valeri scores next it is a perfect reprise of the match as a whole. NYCFC scores but then loses the lead in dramatic fashion. The goal would have been slightly less dramatic than their 94' equalizer but coming from their all time great in his last kick as a Timber, it would have been extremely heartening to them. More importantly, would it have been unsettling to us. Our next PK taker was Maxi. How different is his PK coming to the spot with a 1-1 tie where we just lost the lead. Instead, up 2-1 he is loose and nails his shot. If SJ doesn't block Valeri I say at best we are back to a coin flip. But more likely I think POR would have been favored to win from there.

Those are my 3. All on field. I have a couple of off field MVM considerations. But I'll leave it at this for now.
Great list. If I could add #4, it would be the Thiagoal against DC. Gave me a lot of hope, with some magic yet to come.