NYCFC looks past Red Bull loss, focus on playoff push

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by CHRISTIAN ARAOS
Staff Writer

New York City FC achieved a minor victory in having all three of its designated players start a game together for the first time in its twelfth-to-last game of the regular season.

Now that NYCFC has actually completed its squad building, it now has 11 games left to make up a four-point difference between them and the Montreal Impact for the last playoff spot in the East.

The margin itself is not insurmountable for NYCFC to make up but it would be much easier if game 24 was not the first game all of NYCFC’s core players were named in the same starting eleven.

“I do think we’ve got a lot of new players playing together for the first, second, third and fourth time,we need to move forward very quickly because we’ve got another match on Thursday,” Head Coach Jason Kreis said. “I still feel that this team is alive with a chance and I believe that with that chance we can make something with that opportunity.”

If the Montreal Impact continue on their current pace, they will finish the regular season right around 45 points. For NYCFC to reach that total, they would need 21 points out of a possible 33— or 1.9 points per game. That form would be better than all the current Supporters Shield contenders. That includes its next opponent, the current Supporters Shield leader D.C. United who have 1.76 points per game.

“We are on the same page now and we’ve been saying that it’s crunch time,” midfielder Thomas McNamara said. “This is a massive opportunity now on Thursday and that’s what we need to focus on going forward this week. We can’t be upset and dwell on the past if we are going to make this playoff push.”

NYCFC’s next six matches come against teams that are in playoff places in either conference. In all, only two of their last 11 games come against teams that are currently outside the top six in their respective conferences. If NYCFC can beat the gauntlet and put itself into the playoff places, then Kreis’ confident statement has more credence to it.

However for that to happen, the team needs all of its players to be in sync. At the moment, that appears to be fleeting with the team still not entirely cohesive in defense or in attack. Cohesion develops over time but there is not much of it. It also develops as players get fit and train. Frank Lampard has been training in full with the team for only a week. Lampard admitted he was not fully match fit for Sunday’s match in which he played 80 minutes and missed three chances to score. Despite the lack of fitness and finishing touch, Lampard said the team will improve over time.

“I’m very confident with the ability that we’ve got here,” Lampard said. “Once it’s all gelling and we’re all fit then I think we can go and win the games we need to get into the playoffs.”

  • the Realist

    I have been a Metro/RBNY since Day One and I vigorously root against DC. However, City Retirement Home is so annoying that I find myself rooting for a DC draw when they face these hipster jackasses.

    Make the playoffs?

    They should be more concerned about Fat Frank and Petered Out Pirlo going into cardiac arrest. Did you see them on that 2nd Red Bull goal??? They were spent!

    • Brian

      How does it feel to support a team that has only one supporter shield win in the last 20 years.

      • the Realist

        It feels good!

        Better than you feel today rooting for the Geriatric subsiary of the Sheik’s football enmpire.

  • Limpard

    Hey, I’m not too fat yet, wait till after the off season.

    I like that name – “Petered Out Pirlo”

  • Kevin

    Realist im so glad u said that. I thought Lampard was almost awaiting a call from the ref that he had fouled the opposing player. The entire defense didn’t make a move as he shot and scored. I thought the exact same thing.

    • The Realist

      Honestly, he looked like a chubby U-11 player dying for a juice break

  • Andrea Pirlo

    Mio Dio ! Ho pensato che stavo per avere un attacco di cuore durante il gioco . Faceva caldo e mi fanno correre in questo campionato . Eppure , anche se ero esausto , ho guardato meglio che il mio amico , Frank Lampard , che è molto grasso e le cui competenze sono state erose . Mio Dio . NYCFC è terribile ! Avrei dovuto restare sulla spiaggia , sorseggiando vino e godersi le sigarette invece di farsi coinvolgere con questi somari .

  • Allen Iverson

    Playoff push? PLAYOFF PUSH?!?!

  • Nova

    Its scary to think a team that has had such a bad season is still in the hunt for the MLS cup… league should really re-think the playoff format!

    • slowleftarm

      Yeah, way too many teams make the playoffs. 6 or 8 would be fine.