There were 16 games in MLS this week which meant lots of teams played twice, but NYCFC had the week off. It turned into a case of move forward by standing still. Midweek, the only East conference team to win was Atlanta, who won their fifth straight by shutout, setting a new record. All other Eastern teams either lost or split points (Toronto and DC). Then came the weekend and the trend continued, as East teams drew or lost with two exceptions:
- The Red Bulls beat Atlanta while down to 10 men for most of the game, as result which was probably for the best, given the location and current position and trends for both teams (setting aside the always preferred draw); and
- Orlando handily beat Cincinnati, which is not ideal but not particularly troublesome either.
At the top of the Table, Toronto and DC both got just 1 point out of 6, Philadelphia and Montreal both 1 of 3 at home, and Atlanta did the best with a middling 3 of 6. The only teams to improve their PPG were below the playoff line last week on the PPG table (and the Revolution only improved by earning 1 point because their PPG is so low).
NYCFC did not move in position yet its PPG relative to almost everyone else improved. Also, NYC now has played fewer games than everyone in the conference, which is a mixed blessing but definitely an opportunity.
NYCFC now controls its own place in the final season standings, which simply means they can guarantee they finish first if they somehow win all their remaining games. That’s highly unlikely, but also was not true last week or most of the year. The point is that NYCFC received a lot of help this week and now the team has to take advantage of it.
“Don’t waste your time, sitting still.”