New York City FC fans, the moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived.
A day after a 4-1 win over the Chicago Fire put NYCFC on the brink of clinching a first-ever MLS Cup playoff berth, it became official 24 hours later when the Red Bulls defeated the Montreal Impact.
As a result of the Red Bulls victory, NYCFC, the Red Bulls and Toronto FC clinched three of the available six playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. All three are also level on points atop the east.
“We are only one-and-a-half years old and we fight with teams that play for 20 years. We are very happy, I am very proud for 48 points,” NYCFC captain David Villa said. “We are happy to make history for our club.”
Although NYCFC has officially booked a spot in the playoffs, there is still so much left to play for with three regular season games remaining, beginning with a road game against Houston Friday at 8 p.m.
“It’s our second year as a club so that is huge,” forward Khiry Shelton said. “It’s a great part of history, we are all happy about it and just looking forward to the next game.”
The top two teams in each conference earns a spot in the two-legged conference semifinal series, while teams that finish 3-6 play in a in one-game knockout round match with the higher seed hosting. That game will be either October 26 or 27.
The top two finishers in each conference earn a bye into the two-legged conference semifinals. The first leg is October 30, with the second leg being played Nov. 6.
The winners advance to the two-legged Eastern Conference finals, with the first leg Nov. 22 and the second leg Nov. 30.
Each conference champion will compete for the MLS Cup Dec. 10 at the site to be determined based on regular season points total.
“Of course, the second objective is to fight for the best position possible to be good in the playoffs,” Villa said. “We are three games more, but now its time of rest and Monday start the week again to try and get another three points in Houston.”