New York City FC: 3 things to watch for in 2020 MLS playoffs

New York City FC (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
New York City FC (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
New York City FC
New York City FC. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports /

New York City FC head into the playoffs on a winning streak, but with concerns

The 2020 Major League Soccer season has been crazy and wild, and the same goes for New York City FC.  After another rough and tumble start, the Pigeons have found their groove toward the end of the season, leading one to wonder what would have happened if they played the full 34 matches.

Now, after finishing in 5th place, NYCFC will start their playoffs journey away against Orlando City SC.  Everything is on the line, and the club not only tends to struggle at Orlando but tends to fall apart in the playoffs as well.  Can they finally make their best run, and find success in this abnormal year?  Only time will tell, and undeniably they have to win their first game to have any chance of success.

Here are three things to watch for NYCFC in the playoffs.

3. Holding onto the newfound New York City FC scoring touch

Throughout the season, New York City FC was highly criticized for its lack of scoring goals, especially since the team has many goal scorers.  Often, their multiple-goal games were against bottom of the table teams.  Furthermore, the players would usually lose their scoring touch right after they found it again.  Yet, in their final four games, NYCFC scored 13 goals, and players like Valentín Castellanos, Gary Mackay-Steven and Jesús Medina definitively made a difference in the attack.

To go into the first match and lose the newfound momentum would be horrendous for the Pigeons.  A team that cannot score cannot become champions, so the team desperately needs to continue to score.  But since they were up and down all season, there are questions on whether the team can keep the momentum alive.

Of course, the boys in blue could face a team where their defense is impossible to breach.  Therefore, in such a situation, a loss would be not due to their inability to score, but rather the other team was incredible on the day.  So, judging NYCFC’s scoring abilities will come down to chances and shots taken.

On the other hand, there is hope the Pigeons will keep their momentum going.  Maxi Moralez seems almost 100% healthy, and he creates multiple chances for his teammates.  Also, NYCFC has two of the top attacking fullbacks in the league in Anton Tinnerholm and Ronald Matarrita.  These three players help move the ball into the attack.  Thus, as long as the finishing touch is there, the chances created should lead to goals.

No matter what, they cannot lose their newfound scoring touch.  Players who are supposed to get the goals cannot fail now.