New York City FC’s Season 5 Finale ended with a bang in Philadelphia on Sunday night.
Here are the Five Points from a night to remember, presented by Etihad Airways…
Not Done Yet
That wraps up the regular season – a record-breaking regular season #ForTheCity.
Thanks to an amazing Season 5, we’ve seen all-time Club records fall for points (64), goals (63) and wins (18).
Despite the fact we’ve won the Eastern Conference and secured CONCACAF Champions League qualification, there is a real “not done yet” vibe emanating from this group.
This latest win, over the team who rivalled NYC for the Conference for much of the season, was a real statement for the postseason.
As ever, The Ringleader put it best: “Playoffs are different, playoffs are one-game, knockout game, it’s going to be completely different. It’s important for us to win, but now those wins won’t help us in the future against these teams. We just have to go out on the pitch and compete and we have to win.”
Roll With It
City had to make a last-minute change in their final match of the season against the Philadelphia Union.
Ronald Matarrita didn’t know that he was going to start at Talen Energy Stadium until just before kick-off but the late addition paid off immediately for NYCFC, as the Costa Rican scored the first goal of the night and his first of the season after just seven minutes.
NYCFC came into the night with one gameplan, but having to change things around right before the match and to still come through and thrive shows the strength and versatility this team possesses.
Dome Torrent’s fast thinking and flexibility in his strategy prevailed in the final win of the regular season.
A High Note
The regular season has come to an end, but New York City FC is going out on top.
With the top seed of the Eastern Conference in hand and playoff implications no longer on the line, the Boys in Blue continued to fight through the end.
City’s 2-1 win against the Union was the high note the team needed to build momentum going into the playoffs, especially with a two-week break between now and the first game of the postseason.
It was also a good opportunity for the players to have one more match before gearing up to make a playoff run.
Decision Day has come and gone and the bracket is set.
NYCFC has a first-round bye as they sit on the top of the Eastern Conference table and they will have until October 23rd to prepare for the new single-elimination layout of the MLS Playoffs.
The Boys in Blue will not know who their opponent will be until Round 1 concludes, but we will be taking on the winner of the Toronto FC vs. DC United match.
Only time will tell how things pan out, but there’s a feeling in this squad that this is only the beginning for New York City’s Football Club.
The team will have two weeks to regroup and focus on the playoffs, but before things take off in full swing seven players are heading off to international team duty.
Alex Callens, Ronald Matarrita, Maxime Chanot, Alexandru Mitrita, Sean Johnson, Tony Rocha, and Taty Castellanos received the call to represent their nation in the second week of October.
While they are away, they will have the opportunity to play some minutes and continue their rhythm going into playoff preparations.
Luckily for NYCFC, they have a fair amount of time after returning to shift gears and get back in the lab for Playoff SZN.