Sean Johnson: Defensively as a unit just the back four, we’ve got to collectively take this one on our backs and say, ‘Look it wasn’t good enough from the group.’ ” (Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
BRONX — There was plenty of finger pointing by one key player in the New York City FC locker room Wednesday night.
After City lost not one, but two leads in what turned into a discouraging 2-2 draw with New England Revolution at Yankee Stadium, goalkeeper Sean Johnson doled out the blame.
It was Ben Sweat’s fault. It was Maxime Chanot’s fault. It was Alex Callens’ fault. It was Ethan White’s fault.
And it was Sean Johnson’s fault.
City surrendered the equalizing goal in the 86th minute, dropping two valuable home points to a team that has not won on the road this season.
“It’s communicating, taking that next step up to ensure that we lock down all area and we’re not going to give away chances as the game goes on,” he said. “So, its a testament to everybody on the field. It’s not just one person. Defensively as a unit just the back four, we’ve got to collectively take this one on our backs and say, ‘Look it wasn’t good enough from the group.’ ”
An unmarked Xavier Kouassi did the damage, heading in a Kelyn Rowe cross from the right side to spoil City’s quest for three points.
During his post-game press conference, head coach Patrick Vieira said it was a matter of concentrating and keeping focus, a pair of aspects he had stressed prior to the game.
He got no dissent from Johnson.
“In the moment, we switch off and we don’t do what’s necessary,” he said. “We wind up conceding a late goal. We’ve got to stay tuned in for 90 plus minutes. It’s a game that takes seconds to change and that was the case tonight.
“We’re obviously the team that held a decent amount of possession the entire match. We controlled the game for the most part. In the last 10 minutes you could see they were gaining a little bit of life, getting a little possession. We’ve got to really, really fine tune and start talking even more, communicating with each other, sorting out problems and bringing out , before they happen. That’s the most important thing. When the game is on the line and in tough moments, just being a little bit more sharp mentally. We’ll sort it out.”
City has only a few days to get its act together. They host the Philadelphia Union at the stadium Saturday at 1 p.m.