The final Regular Season encounter of the game is almost here.
Time for the Major Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
The Final Push
Where does the time go?
Soccer seasons can feel pass in the blink of an eye and yet, so much has happened over the course of seven months for NYCFC.
It’s been a dramatic campaign for City with a coaching change, a tough run down the back straight and, let’s not forget, some all-time club highlights too.
With 90’ of 3060 Regular Season minutes remaining, there’s a lot on the line for Philadelphia’s visit, with the Boys in Blue needing something positive to take into our third postseason tilt.
The stakes are high and the team will be focused on this final, most important task of the campaign.
The permutations are pretty simple for this one in terms of securing Home-Field advantage for the Knockout Round: Win or draw and the Bronx will be rocking on Wednesday or Thursday night.
A defeat would mean we’d be relying on other results to clinch third or fourth place and the home game, with DC and visitors Philadelphia ready to pounce if we falter.
It’s a big final encounter with plenty on the line, but Domènec Torrent has close to a full squad to call upon to get the job done…
It’s been five months since we’ve seen Yangel Herrera, Maxi Moralez and Alex Ring line up on the field together but could that run come to an end on Sunday?
The Venezuelan, the Argentine and the Finn are synonymous with the form the Boys in Blue have been able to count on over the last few seasons and compare favorably with any equivalent three in the league.
Herrera made an immediate impression on his return in the District last week, wasting no time in snapping back into tackles and moving the ball through the lines as he did for David Villa’s late consolation.
Maxi missed that one but Spidey is back in full training and has looked sharp in training this week, meaning it could be time to reunite our talented trio.
Reasons to Believe
There’s no getting away from it, we have been on an alarming slide of late with the fractured schedule, injuries and internationals not helping our cause.
However, if you take the season as a whole, there are some stats which contextualize the campaign in a more positive light.
We’ve accrued 1.6 points per game which is just 0.01 behind our best-ever tally of 1.7 in 2017 and our XG (expected goals) ratio is the highest it’s ever been at 1.73 (compared to 1.54 in 2017 and 1.36 in 2016).
With all of our pieces returning to the fold, there are reasons to believe that we’ve got plenty of football ahead of us yet in 2018.
Fan Appreciation Day
You’ve been there for us at Yankee Stadium all year long – now we need you to be at your loudest and most passionate again for this final Regular Season push.
After the game, the players will be showing their appreciation for your support but during, it’s time to bring the noise to help us get over the line and to ensure we open up our postseason back in the building later in the week.
One more time, For The City.