NYCFC’s tactical change that turned the table against Sporting Kansas City
New York City FC captain Alex Ring realized things weren’t quite working.
The Cityzens were outnumbered in the attacking third because Sporting Kansas City’sback four had additional help from defensive midfielder Ilie Sanchez, who would also facilitate the visitors attack.
So late in the first half, during a stoppage in play, Ring and NYCFC coach Dome Torrent hatched a plan to change the club’s shape.
Ring moved up from his No. 6 position to a more advanced role in the attack as the No. 10. Keaton Parks slid back to help battle Krisztian Nemeth for 50-50 balls when Sporting KC played long out of the back.
“We were going to push Keaton high and leave me there, but they were playing a lot with Nemeth high balls,” Ring said. “I said to him maybe it would be better for Keaton to go and win the headers and I could mark Ilie at the same time defensively and I think it worked well.”
Almost immediately the shift in formation paid dividends as Anton Tinnerholm put NYCFC in front on a well-worked, collective team goal in the 41st minute.
Ring thrived in his attacking role with a goal and two assists in New York City FC’s 3-1 win Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
“They were trying to play through their No. 6 a lot and once Ringy pushed up and stayed on him, they were just playing long balls and it’s just easier for me to win a header,” Parks said.
Torrent lauded Ring’s versatility, saying he believes he’s maybe best suited as a No. 8 or a No. 10 in a 4-3-3.
“We played 5-3-2 last 30 minutes. It’s a good shape for Ringy because he has this quality,” Torrent said. “He arrives all the time, he has control of the ball and after he helps us a lot when we don’t have the ball.”