Nick Cushing: “We feel like we just need that little spark to really propel us forward.” ( Photo)

Hmm. Perhaps FC Cincinnati losing a tough Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal on Wednesday night will help a rested New York City FC squad out.

Heaven knows that City needs as much help it can get with his failing attack these days.

The Cityzens haven’t played since Sunday night’s 2-0 home loss to D.C. United, while Cincy is coming off a 5-4 defeat to Inter Miami CF in penalty kicks after playing to 120 minutes and a wild 3-3 draw.

The teams will meet at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati on Saturday att 7:30 p.m.

FC Cincy (15-3-6) leads the Eastern Conference with 51 points, while struggling NYCFC (5-9-11, 26) is mired in 13th place, six points out of a playoff spot.

“If I look at it for myself it’s not ideal,” NYCFC head coach Nick Cushing said. “It’s not ideal to play mid-week when the opposition doesn’t play. We’ve had many of those situations over my time here and it is complex because you know the other team is resting and preparing while you’re focusing on another team.

“But they are also top of the league and in real form, although they’ve lost three games. I think they’ll be high on confidence from the fact that they got to the semifinal of a U.S. Open Cup. They sit on 51 points. It’s a strong position to be in. So we know they’re going to be very dangerous. We know they have a good atmosphere and crowd there. That is due to their current success.

“But I say again, I don’t think the opposition is even in our minds at the moment. I think it’s ultimately about just going in, attacking football games, and being ourselves and playing trusting that we’ve had good performances this year. We have six new additions to the team that are going to help us and if we can continue to dominate teams, we can turn losses and previously draws into wins.”

Let’s face it, NYCFC desperately needs a win and three points.

“We feel like we just need that little spark to really propel us forward because we know we can perform well,” Cushing said. “We know we can create chances. We know we can restrict the opponent’s chances. Doing that in two really difficult places like Philadelphia and Columbus give us confidence going away from home, but we have to execute those moments. We have to absorb the pressure and absorb the playoff run, all of the noise around that, and just focus on winning a football game. I feel like if we can really move forward and take a win away at Cincinnati, it will give us such a platform into two home games to really get some momentum in our form.”

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at