Vieira: Race for Second Place is Wide Open

vieira chicago

Patrick Vieira's men made it out of the second game of their three-match road trip with a point.

After a night where, at times, it felt like they could have gotten more from the match, NYCFC will head into the international break still three points ahead of Atlanta United in the race for second place in the East. 

READ: Match Recap: NYCFC 1-1 Chicago

Speaking to reporters after the match, Vieira acknowledged that Chicago's defensive organization made it tough for his side to break them down, but noted that City didn't find themselves without chances. 

"If you look at the first half, I think it was a really difficult game for us to play through," said the Head Coach. "The way they organize themselves made it a tough game for us.

"We created a few situations, we had a few crosses where we were dangerous, and I think we created enough where we were at least trying to score a goal."

They tried, and through the right foot of David Villa, they succeeded. 

In the second half, NYCFC were pushing for another goal, but it wasn't on the cards against a tough, gritty Chicago side who kept their shape tight and defended their home turf well. However, Vieira noted that the addition of Khiry Shelton and Rodney Wallace to the mix helped liven things up for his side. 

WATCH: Match Highlights: NYCFC 1-1 Chicago

"The team reacted well after changing one or two players around," said the gaffer, "and I think the second half was a better second half for us."

With a little more depth at his disposal and two weeks before City's next game, Patrick Vieira has some important decisions to make as the regular season winds down and the challenge of the playoffs is upon him. 

"After the international break, we need to get back ready to challenge in our last few games," asserted Vieira.

"When you look at the last international break, we had a few players come back with injuries and it was a problem for us. I hope this time they come back where they left off."

With the playoffs looming so largely, keeping players healthy will absolutely be key with the race for second place in the Eastern Conference still wide open. 

"There are three, even four teams that can get that second spot. It's really open," admitted Vieira.

"We have to be ready, we have to prepare ourselves really well, because the next match against New England will be a really difficult one."

Vieira: Race for Second Place is Wide Open -