New York City FC’s draw against Chicago could be valuable

New York City FC pulled off an unthinkable draw against the Chicago Fire on Friday night after trailing by two goals and being reduced to 10 men. How valuable can a tie truly be though? In City’s case, very.

The result against the Fire may not have been glamorous, or even a victory for that matter, but it snapped New York’s four-match losing streak, which dated back to April 16 versus the Philadelphia Union.

Does this draw mean that the Light Blues are going to go out and start winning games consistently? I’d imagine that that’s not the case because certainly have their deficiencies. There were absolutely positive to take away from Friday though.

The biggest contribution head coach Jason Kreis got was Khiry Shelton‘s second-half goal. Not only did Shelton score the equalizer in the dying minutes of the match, but it was his first career Major League Soccer goal. Every fan, coach, and player knows of Shelton’s physicality and pace, but if he can start scoring goals, then New York could be sitting pretty. The 21-year old appears to do everything right on and off the pitch, and he’s certainly a fan favorite as well, which makes his budding success all the more special.

Shelton spoke of his late-game triumph after the match.

“The effort that David and everyone showed tonight was big, the goal was a team effort. It definitely builds confidence, I still have a lot of stuff to work on and I know that going forward it will be big for me.”

Another encouraging aspect of the match was that New York came back from two goals down, after being reduced to 10 men as well. Defender RJ Allen was sent off in the 26th minute, which meant NYCFC had to play over an hour short-handed. This match was the first time in 2015 that Kreis’ team came back to tie or win a match after trailing at any point.

Obviously for fans and the coaching staff it can’t be encouraging racking up red cards consistently, but the perseverance that the Light Blues showed was certainly something that the team can look back on and be pleased with. RJ Allen’s sending off marked the fourth time this season that an NYCFC player was shown red (Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Andrew Jacobson, Shay Facey).

New York City FC will next face an experienced Real Salt Lake side on Saturday, May 23, whom Jason Kreis certainly knows well. Salt Lake is currently sitting on 14 points and is occupying seventh place in the jam-packed Western Conference.