The playoffs are a certainty. NYC beat Chicago and the other dominoes fell properly this week so NYCFC has clinched a playoff spot, as did Toronto and the Red Bulls, all at the same time when the Red Bulls beat Montreal. I do not find myself particularly excited by this. I think the reason is that it has been a near certainty for 2-3 months, and a true (if not mathematical) certainty for 2-3 weeks. Also the specific result that put the Bluebirds over the top was a bad result for the team in all other respects. NYCCF is in a battle with the Red Bulls for Second Place in the conference and a first round playoff bye. The Pigeons really need the Red Bulls to drop points. That this RB win happened to clinch a playoff spot for NYCFC, which I considered a given anyway, was not even bittersweet. I just wanted NYRB to lose. Finally, with the other results this weekend NYC would have clinched once Columbus beat New England in the last game of the week Sunday night. With all that, I haven’t lost sight of how great it is the team is doing well and comfortably made the playoffs in its second year.
Apart from that Red Bull win it was overall it was a good weekend of results for NYCFC. The problem is that the most immediate concern is the Red Bulls and second place. Every other team we are trying to catch dropped points but they still seem hard to reach.
The Red Bulls and NYCFC won and everyone else dropped points. The Galaxy lost, and every other team drew. NYCFC is likely to lose the tie-breakers to everyone but LAG, so has to finish ahead on points to finish ahead. As this chart shows, even if NYCFC wins out its remaining 3 games, they need Dalls to drop 6 points, Colorado 7, and Toronto 4. The team that’s in reach and has the most immediate reward is the Red Bulls. Also, it is unclear if finishing ahead of the West Conference teams will have any helpful results. A spot in the CONCACAF Champions League is — maybe — up for grabs but there are so many movings parts to that calculus it seems too remote. NYC needs to win and get help, or it will likely finish third in the conference, and my disappointment with that prospect is clearly of the moment. pre-season I would have taken it gladly. It also seemed wildly optimistic on June 3, when the team had just lost at home to RSL, the Home record was 1-3-5, and the PPG overall PPG was 1.20. By the way, I feel much more optimistic than this post is coming out.
v East: 8-7-7 1.41 PPG
v West: 5-2-2 1.89 PPG
Home: 7-3-6 1.69 PPG
Away 6-6-3 1.4 PPG
The what needs to be done chart can start losing possibilities at the bottom with every new point:
This chart is officially meaningless to NYCFC but goes up for reference anyway. DC United is dragging the playoff line up just a bit.
DC United is dragging the playoff line up just a bit. They have lost only once in their last 10 games, over which their PPG is 1.50 compared to 1.10 the rest of the season. They are the only one of NYCFC’s remaining opponents over the playoff line at the moment. But, the other two are also playing their best ball of the season, unfortunately. The Dynamo, who host NYCFC this coming Friday, are at 1.40 PPG in the last 10 compared to 0.95 before that, and Columbus is also 1.40 over the last 10 compared to a truly dismal 0.83 before that.
NYC has two road games left and has not won Away since July 17 at Montreal. NYC’s only remaining home game is against Columbus which is the only East Conference team NYCFC has never beaten. IF NYCFC finishes strong some negative streaks will end.
Montreal’s maximum point number is 50. DCU sits at 49. NYCFC have 48 points today. One NYCFC win, or Impact or DCU loss, and NYCFC clinches finishing at least in Fourth Place and a home playoff game in the first round of the playoffs.
Don’t right off the CCL chances so quickly. Dallas already won the USOC, let’s assume they win the SS as well. That means 2 CCL spots are open to American teams in the SS race. That takes Toronto out of the equation. The remaining teams are all tied on points: NJRB (can I type that here?), NYC, COL & LA. LA has a very tough schedule with Dallas twice and an away match at Houston squeezed in the middle. I think 3-4 points max for them, if even. Let’s also give COL one of the CCL spots since they have 5 matches remaining to the other teams ‘ 3. The last CCL spot (if Dallas doesn’t win the Cup) would go to either NYC or NJ, whomever finishes higher. So now we’re fighting for a bye and CCL. Can’t get more meaningful then that. Shame they own the tie-breaker.
I think I’m not writing it off, but it’s hard for me to focus on CCL when the more immediate goal — finishing at least Second in the East — is hard enough to achieve as it is, requiring both help from other teams and that NYC play better than it has lately.
The good thing is that IF those happen, then it just takes a little more to reach CCL. Orlando gave us a partial opening last night. Now NYC needs to win in Houston and get just a bit more help to maybe achieve all those goals.
And you can type whatever you want here within normal bounds of civil discourse. 😉
The horror scenario just occurred to me. NJ finish above NY who finishes above LA. LA and NJ meet in the finals leaving NY fans torn between needing LA to lose for us to get CCL, but knowing that would deliver a first ever cup to the hated rivals on the Jersey side of the river.
Ha! That’s some uncharacteristic doom and gloom from you Footy, even if only hypothetical. I think you know when you have a chance to cheer for something positive or root for a negative you go with the positive.
I agree. It just feels so wrong.
It’s kind of funny actually. In business they say don’t do anything you wouldn’t want published on the front page of the WSJ.
As a fan, how would I feel if my rooting for the RB in the finals was publicized? How about if my rooting against our CCL interests? Granted, this isn’t exactly Sophie’s choice, but it’s a really awkward internal debate in my brain.
I just hope it remains in the realm of hypothetical.