New York City FC were held to a 1-1 draw by the Houston Dynamo on Saturday afternoon.
Here’s Managing Editor Mark Booth with five things we learned…
Keep the Faith
NYCFC had the opportunity to clinch an MLS Playoffs berth with a victory this weekend but Mauro Manotas’s 16th minute strike snatched that away.
Patrick Vieira’s men should seal it in the near-future but our hold on the second bye to the Eastern Conference semis is now in some jeopardy.
Atlanta United and Chicago Fire fans will have watched this showdown in Connecticut with interest and will have been pleased with the final result as NYC went to three games without a win.
However, all is not lost… let’s not forget how many enforced absentees we’ve had to endure over the past six weeks and, with a second place finish still in our own hands and some key players returning to fitness, there’s no reason to fear for our 2017 aspirations.
While it was disappointing to drop the two points we created enough opportunities to earn, we’re just two points away from matching our Regular Season tally of 54 and we'll soon have Maxime Chanot and Yangel Herrera back...
Vieira described the decision to play the game at the Pratt & Whitney Stadium the correct one after more than 10,000 supporters traveled to support the team.
The Frenchman said: "The club had been walking around, trying to find the best option for the team to express themselves, and for fans to turn up and support the team.
“I think when you look at the quality of the game—because I think it was a really good game of football between the two teams—you look at the fans who turned up, I think it was the right decision."
It was a stirring show of support from our fans and one everyone at the club is grateful for – thanks for sticking with us and we’ll look forward to hosting you for our final Regular Season home game vs. Columbus next month.
Tweets You Wish You Hadn’t Sent…
Doffing our collective caps to the goalscorer… and consoling one unfortunate fan.
Maxi Moralez has threatened to score a diving header all-season-long and it was wild to finally see it come to pass, giving NYC the perfect start.
One NYCFC fan probably wasn’t celebrating as hard as the rest of us…
Spare a thought for Matt… apparently Maxi might well be carrying out the deed himself…
If Maxi Moralez ever scores a header I will shave #10 in the side of my head.— Matt (@NYCLFC_) March 18, 2017
Should’ve left that one in the drafts, bro.
There’s still a lot of work to do in these final four games and it doesn’t get any easier…
NYCFC have two road games in three days coming up which are likely to shape how this Regular Season is remembered.
First up, it’s a trip to a Montreal Impact side who snapped Toronto FC’s long unbeaten run last week, meaning they will be full of confidence when they host us on Wednesday night.
Following that, it’s a huge (as it stands) 2nd vs. 3rd matchup vs. Chicago Fire who will be desperate to avenge their 2-1 defeat to ten-man NYCFC earlier in the summer.
A massive seven days ahead…
Even those living under rocks or on Mars will have done well to avoid hearing talk of Atlanta United’s recent form.
The southern red and black Juggernaut are mowing down everyone in their paths at present, meaning if the Playoffs were starting tomorrow, they may well be favored above NYCFC in neutrals’ brackets up and down the country.
However, even the most unstoppable-seeming Hype Trains can end up pulling tamely into stations and the Playoffs are not starting tomorrow. They're starting in six weeks and a lot change in that time...
The Boys in Blue have four games to put this three-game winless streak in the rearview mirror and to build form going into the postseason.
This is the first time we’ve gone three without a win this season – a stat which goes some way towards telling you that NYCFC haven’t been a streaky team.
Our 15 Ws have been scattered pretty evenly through the season and hopefully, we can put another one on the board in Canada on Wednesday night to boost confidence ahead of that clash in the Windy City.