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) /
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New York City FC
New York City FC. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Breaking the New York City FC curse

Excluding New York City FC’s inaugural season, they have made the playoffs every year.  From 2016 to 2019, the club finished anywhere from first to third in the Eastern Conference, and still finished fifth this year out of 14 teams.  Their success in the regular season should insinuate success in the playoffs.

Alas, the Pigeons have never made it past the Eastern Conference Semifinals, whether they had the bye for the first round or had to play to get into those semifinals.  Twice they lost to Toronto FC and the other times to the Columbus Crew SC and Atlanta United FC.  This caused fans to have a negative and hopeless feeling towards the playoffs.  Hence, the question remains: can NYCFC actually have success?

While NYCFC did not have their best season this year, they did finish with a four-game winning streak, including a huge win over Toronto.  It is possible in a normal 34 match season, they would have climbed higher up the Eastern Conference table.  Nonetheless, can they continue their recent winning streak in the playoffs?  Again, it is hard to believe the team will go far due to inconsistency and their playoff past.

Hot. Consistency will be key as they head to MLS playoffs. light

As long as players like Castellanos and Medina continue their form, the scoring continues, and the defensive backline is strong, then New York City FC has a chance to break their “curse” and go far.  This will be something fans and the media will be watching for.  The pressure is on for the Pigeons, and now all one can do is wait and see.  Maybe, just maybe, NYCFC fans will have some positivity brought to the troubled New York sports world and the craziness of 2020.