New York City FC climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference table after defeating New England 2-1 at home in the Bronx.
With one game in hand, the Boys in Blue know they are in a good position, but there’s no time to rest, according to Saturday’s hero, Jesus Medina.
“Of course it is a very important victory. We are very conscious about the fact that we can end up first in the East,” Medina told reporters.
“We have two big games at home and continue to work in the way we have been and with the same focus.”
The win against Bruce Arena’s in-form side was all the more impressive for the Boys in Blue because they did it without eight First Team players.
Dome Torrent had to make four changes to his starting XI, but his work didn’t end there.
For almost 70 minutes, New York was down 1-0 so Torrent made numerous changes to his tactical approach, including the substitution which saw Medina replace Sebastien Ibeagha on 60’.
It was a decisive moment.
“I don’t remember today how many times I changed the shape to try to score a goal,” Torrent reflected.
“We’ve said many times that soccer belongs to the players and I believe in that. Right now they work very hard in the facilities and it’s important that every single player is ready to play.
“We lose Heber, we have another player. I’m very happy, especially for Jesus [Medina] because before the game I said you have to be ready against New England.
“That happened because right now they have confidence.”
They will have to continue playing with that confidence to cement their place in the top spot and earn a preferential bracket. City has a busy month ahead of them with five games left to play, two of which are this week.
Toronto FC is in town on Wednesday and then the Boys in Blue will welcome the San Jose Earthquakes.
Although the turnaround has been quick, the team remains focused.
“We have to keep working hard and conscious in our efforts,” Medina said.
“We have two big games at home and continue to work in the way we have been and with the same focus.
“We just have to take it day by day and focus on Toronto and then San Jose.”