2. New York City FC will finish anywhere from fourth to seventh in the East
New York City FC has a challenge this year to do well and make the playoffs. Since this is a team who has finished first to third in the Eastern Conference from 2016 to 2019, and failed to do well in the postseason, predicting how well they will do is no easy challenge. However, predicting where they will finish in the regular season is an easier task than the MLS Cup Playoffs. Consequently, the next bold prediction is that the Pigeons will finish anywhere from fourth to seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
Now, the season should not be a washout as some might think. Unquestionably, the team needs to make a few influential signings, and that will help dictate where they finish in the regular season. In hindsight, NYCFC essentially only lost two main starters this offseason with the trades of Alexander Ring and Ronald Matarrita. Alexandru Mitriță had already left on loan during the 2020 season, and was somewhat out of favor with Ronny Deila as a starter, excluding his last few games in City blue.
As a result, NYCFC will still have many of their main starters. Yes, there is still room for improvement, and it is a must need too if the Pigeons want to compete. Also, this will be the second season under Deila. For this reason, the players should be better adjusted to the Norwegian’s style of play and plans. Again, the 2020 season was interrupted and shortened. Subsequently, it is possible the league did not get the full Deila experience.
Of course, there is the possibility Deila is not the right fit for NYCFC, and will struggle. Yet, the team is still full of talent and potential. To add, it is better to believe a team will adjust and improve, rather than focus on the possible negatives.
Nonetheless, between the current roster, the expectation there will be more additions, and the idea players are better adjusted to Deila’s style of play, the club can have an average season. It will not be fantastic, nor will it be awful, just average. NYCFC will finish no higher than fourth place, but no lower than seventh place, in the Eastern Conference.