Six games to go, all to play for…
As a long Regular Season campaign nears its conclusion, reporters across the country have ramped up the conversation on who will end the the year victorious.
Unsurprisingly, Toronto FC are the favorites as they continue to dominate the Supporters’ Shield race but NYCFC know that in Playoffs soccer, anything can happen.
FourFourTwo USA have speculated on whether our year on year progression across all metrics will matter against TFC’s seemingly unstoppable juggernaut.
Throwing ahead to a hypothetical Conference final between the two teams, Christian Araos posits: “This year has shown that it’s easy for defenses to get swept away by the wide torrent that is Toronto FC.
“On the larger BMO Field, NYCFC will need all three starting midfielders to cover ground and defend well in 1-v-1 situations.
“The trio of Moralez, Ring and Herrera is able to do that; NYCFC is undefeated when the three of them start together, with five wins against the rest of the top six in the East. The three of them, along with Villa, could be reunited as soon as next weekend.”
Araos continues: “While the East is stronger than it has been in years, a TFC-NYCFC rematch in the conference final is still expected. Should that happen, it would only be the fifth time in league history that the first- and second-place teams in the Supporters’ Shield table met in the playoffs, and the first time involving two Eastern Conference teams.
“If they get to face each other in the conference final, it’ll likely be with the knowledge that the winner gets to host MLS Cup -- and be the favorite to lift it, too.”
An enticing prospect, indeed!
Will it be David Villa or will Diego Valeri dethrone the 19-goal NYCFC man?
Galarcep argues: “Major League Soccer's MVP race has felt like a foregone conclusion for some time.
“David Villa has been putting together a season even better than he had in 2016 when he won MVP honors, and with New York City FC looking like a serious title contender, it was tough to see anyone posing a real threat to Villa winning the award again.
“A new challenger has emerged though, and he delivered his latest case for consideration on Villa's own home turf to boost his MVP candidacy.
“Diego Valeri's winning goal in Portland's 1-0 victory over NYCFC on Saturday wasn't close to being the most impressive of the 17 he has scored this season, but that goal and his efforts in the win illustrated why he is has catapulted to the front of the line among serious challengers to Villa's MVP reign.”
A great season from the Portland man, but you already know which way we think it should go…
Finally, have you listened to the Soccer in the City podcast recorded at NYCFC House yet?
Join Glenn Crooks, Roberto Abramowitz and NYCFC President Jon Patricof for an entertaining conversation on the current state and future of the club.
Hit that link below to have a listen!