In the second to last home game of the regular season, New York City FC hosts the Chicago Fire at Yankee Stadium Friday at 8 p.m.
NYCFC (12-9-9) is on the verge of clinching a first-ever 2016 MLS Audi Playoff appearance, tied on points with the New York Red Bulls and two points behind first-place Toronto FC with four games to play. NYCFC can book a spot in the playoffs with a win over the Fire and either a New England Revolution tie or loss vs. the Columbus Crew Saturday or Orlando City SC and D.C. United tie on Saturday or the New York Red Bulls beat the Montreal Impact Saturday.
“We put ourselves in a good position so far this year. We’ve got four games left and we need to treat each game separately, on its own, as a final,” NYCFC midfielder Tommy McNamara said. “We need to finish out the year strong and make sure that we do get into the playoffs in the highest position as possible. We need to be ready, we need to be prepared, we need to be willing to fight for all the points that are available.”
McNamara scored the opening goal and Khiry Shelton headed in a late equalizer in a thrilling 2-2 draw with FC Dallas Saturday night at Yankee Stadium, extending NYCFC’s home unbeaten streak to six consecutive games. Jack Harrison assisted on both goals.
Chicago (6-13-9), last in the Eastern Conference with 27 points, is coming off a 2-2 draw with D.C. United Friday night at Toyota Park. Razvan Cocis scored an equalizer in the 22nd minute and then set up David Accam seven minutes later to put the Fire in front, 2-1. The score remained that way until the second minute of second-half stoppage time when Bobby Boswell leveled for the visitors.
This is the third and final meeting of the season between the squads. NYCFC pulled out a thrilling 4-3 road win in Chicago to open the season on March 6. McNamara, Tony Taylor, Mix Diskerud and Khiry Shelton struck for NYCFC in that match.
The teams played to a scoreless draw at Yankee Stadium a month later and NYCFC is 1-1-2 all-time against the Fire.
Click here to get tickets to NYCFC’s second to last home match of the regular season.