After slipping up lately, New York City FC need to get things together ahead of their final eight games. It is a slate that is filled with rather ambitious opponents.
Following a dominating start to the season, it has become clear that New York City FC don’t have what it takes to continue their strong form for the entirety of a 34-game season.
Starting from their match in Seattle on July 29th, City have evidently struggled, earning just five of the eighteen available points. Don’t get me wrong, drawing the now second-placed New York Red Bulls with nine men was a great display of courage. But the 2-0 loss in Philadelphia three days earlier was painful to watch.
This shaky performance of late not only knocked them out of a bye in the playoffs, but set them four points back from regaining that position. It’s unlikely they will recover that distance.
Although the seven teams NYCFC are set to face in their remaining eight games are all below them in the league’s standings, most have big stakes to play for.
Saturday, Sept. 1st – Columbus Crew
The Columbus Crew sit behind the Pigeons by just one spot, holding down fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Albeit the eight-point gap is rather large, a win on Sunday at Mapfre Stadium would create a realistic threat for the Crew to leapfrog Domènec Torrent’s squad.
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Wednesday, Sept. 5th – New England Revolution
Having faced already this season, a 2-2 draw in late March, the Revolution have much more to gain in their upcoming trip to Yankee Stadium. With the current standings (As of 8/28) the Revs sit four points out of playoff contention and with a struggling City side and a strong away support, it wouldn’t be that much of a shock to see the Revs leave the Bronx victorious.
Saturday, Sept. 8th – D.C. United
It’s hard to argue that D.C. United aren’t the hottest team in MLS at the moment, spawned by the arrival of Wayne Rooney. Prior to his arrival and the building of Audi Field, it appeared as if D.C. were doomed for yet another finish towards the bottom of the table but things have taken a sharp turn. We’ve seen City struggle with teams in unstoppable form and if United can bounce back from their 1-0 loss to the Red Bulls with results against the Union and Atlanta it would take a strong showing from the boys in blue to stop them.
Saturday, Sept. 22nd – Montreal Impact
Currently hanging on to the sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by a thread, the Montreal Impact can make no mistakes for the remainder of their campaign. If the Canadian side can pick up points in their two games prior to NYCFC, they’ll be hard to stop, especially at home.
Wednesday, Sept. 26th – Chicago Fire/Saturday, Sept. 29th – Minnesota United
These two games are the exception, both teams are nine points away from playoff contention and recent form doesn’t appear to change that. Six points should not only be achievable, but expected from a team that is expected to finish in the top three in the Eastern Conference.
Sunday, Oct. 21 – D.C. United
If you thought the previous match against United would be a threat to NYCFC, their trip to D.C. in October would seem impossible. In front of a packed Audi Field that is all in hopes to achieve postseason soccer could be the most hostile environment New York City FC have traveled to this campaign. At this point in the season, this game will likely make or break DC’s season, causing them to most probably go all out to achieve three points.
Sunday, Oct. 28 – Philadelphia Union
Although it seems as if the Union have a playoff spot locked down, who knows how the remainder of the MLS campaign will go. Whether it be City attempting to lock down a bye or the Union hoping to stay in contention, or even jump to a higher seed, these three points will be important to round out the regular season.