NYCFC celebrates one of its goals. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Yes, there have been concerns about New York City FC replacing the great Taty Castellanos at striker.
But the Cityzens have many more concerns these days.
Their defense, or in this case, their lack of it in their 3-2 loss at Inter Miami CF in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Saturday night.
A horrendous error by Alfredo Morales allowed Alejandro Pozuelo to score his second goal of the match in the 84th minute to snap a 2-2 deadlock to doom City and allow Miami to record its first win over New York in six tries.
Morales’ ill-timed back pass to seemingly no one allowed Pozuelo to intercept the gift and beat goalkeeper Sean Johnson for the game-winner.
To add insult to insult, the visitors twice also allowed one-goal leads to slip through their collectives and feet.
After registering four consecutive shutouts, NYCFC has allowed three goals in each of their last two away matches. The team also suffered a 3-2 defeat at the Columbus Crew last week.
Due to the result, second-place NYCFC (12-6-6, 43 points) could not keep pace with first-place Philadelphia Union (13-3-9, 48), 4-1 winners over the Chicago Fire. Miami improved to 9-10-6 and 33 points.
NYCFC drew first blood in the 34th minute on a set-piece play that was concocted in training. Maxi Moralez sent a free kick into the box that center back Maxime Chanot headed back to Talles Magno. The Brazilian then drilled a shot off the right post into the back of the net.
Five minutes later, the hosts equalized on Pozuelo’s first goal in Miami uniform as he rifled a shot from the top of the penalty area.
With the game knotted up at 1-1 late in the opening half, the fourth official indicated there would be one minute of injury time.
Referee Drew Fischer allowed play to continue past that and in the second minute of added time and City scored. Miami had problems clearing the ball and Thiago Martin put the ball away from eight yards.
Miami knotted things up yet again as Ariel Lassiter powered home a nine-yard shot for a 2-2 deadlock.
That set up Pozuelo’s late-match heroics to spoil NYCFC’s evening.