It might be the only time during the night that Domenec Torrent (right) smiles as he congratulates Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney on the victory. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
New York City FC’s latest game was a disaster, an unmitigated one at that.
How does one explain a 4-0 defeat to one of the poorest teams in Major League Soccer all of last year?
City’s loss was the team’s worst performance of the young season, leaving the team still winless at 0-1-3, having accrued only three points out of a possible 12.
Head coach Domenec Torrent offered no excuses about the debacle and said several times it was his fault for the loss, and it was not on the players.
“It was a bad day, a bad night,” he told reporters at BMO Field Friday night. “They deserved to win the game. We had two chances, in the first half, second half. We didn’t deserve to [win]. They played much better today. It’s my fault because I didn’t read the game.
“It wasn’t about the players. The players tried to play with intensity, but it was not easy to play when you lose the game, two or three actions we make a mistake. They played much better than us, but it’s not about the players. It’s my fault sometimes you have to recognize. I didn’t read the game this night.”
NYCFC had 10 players returning from international duty, many only a day before the match, but again Torrent did not offer any excuses.
“I don’t make excuses about that,” he said. “If I say what I think about the national team what happened. I make a mistake because the rules are the rules. We missed 10 players. I don’t make excuses about that. I make a mistake like the coach because maybe I don’t convince my players this way to play. I didn’t read the game. Sometimes it happens.”
When a reporter brought up the fact that Alejandro Pozuelo made a memorable debut for the Reds, scoring twice and assisting on a third goal, Torrent’s mind was still on the international matches.
“Yeah, tonight it wasn’t easy for many players to play because … I don’t make excuses … they arrive one day before,” he said. “Maybe I make a mistake by playing these players. It is not about these players. I have to improve on that for the next game they come back from the national team. Maybe we have to play different because I know what happened after a long trip. I have experienced that, not here in New York, but in Europe in Barcelona, Man City. When they come back, it is not easy for them. It’s not an excuse, it’s not the fault of the players. It’s my fault.”
Torrent said he and the team had to get their act together for City’s next encounter — a 1 p.m. match vs. Orlando City SC at Yankee Stadium next Saturday.
“We have to improve [for] the next game. We have to win the game,” he said. “We need to win the game right now because we are in trouble because in 12 points, we have three points. If we want to play the playoff, we have to win quickly.”
Asked what was important to accomplish in the coming week, Torrent replied, “We were able to play really well in two games, especially against D.C. and in my opinion, LA. We’ll try to play this way. We have to keep the game, we have to attack and create chances. It is not impossible to win the game. You have to be more clinical to shoot, cross. We had one chance in the first half. We need to create more and more chance. It is not impossible to win.”
At the moment, however, NYCFC is proving otherwise.