MLS: NYCFC eye fifth straight win, face improving Earthquakes

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While not overly dominating from start to finish in their matches, New York City FC is continuing to find ways to win.

Last week NYCFC was about 10 minutes away from settling for a 0-0 draw at New England until Keaton Parks scored on a header, and now they go for their fifth straight win Friday night when they host the San Jose Earthquakes ahead of a week off before the international break.

NYCFC (8-5-2, 26 points) can not only match their win total from last season but they can also win a fifth straight match for the first time since Aug. 17-Sept. 7, 2019.

NYCFC is 8-2-2 since dropping their first three matches and have ascended to third in the East despite having the third-fewest goals (19) of any team in playoff position in either conference.

Last week, NYCFC improved to 7-1-0 in their past eight matches and earned their fifth one-goal victory in that span. Parks scored to give Matt Freese a win during a six-save performance while NYCFC was outplayed for significant portions.

“We were too passive, gave them too much of what they wanted,” NYCFC coach Nick Cushing said. “It’s made the group a lot hungrier, even though it’s another win, hunger this week has been impressive.”

San Jose (3-10-2, 11 points) is tied with Sporting Kansas City for the fewest points in the Western Conference and sit eight points behind the Portland Timbers for the final playoff spot.

The Earthquakes began the season 1-8-0 but are 2-2-2 in their past six and have scored 10 goals in that span. Last week, San Jose settled for a 1-1 tie against Austin after leading for the ninth time in its 15 MLS matches.

Jeremy Ebobisse scored but San Jose could not get the second goal in a contest where seven of its 23 shots were on target. Last week’s draw occurred after it had 11 shots on target in a 1-0 loss at Orlando City.

“It’s disappointing,” San Jose coach Luchi Gonzalez said. “The margins in this league are so close, from winning, losing, even tying. This is the 11th game in 17 (in all competitions) where we’ve had leads. But this tough moment, which has lasted longer than we’d like, it’s going to make us tough.”

NYCFC have won five of the six all-time meetings with the Earthquakes, including the past four.

–Field Level Media

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