With another chance to get back into the playoff mix, New York City FC loses, this time at FC Dallas.
By Jeff Weisinger
Despite somehow still barely being in the race for the sixth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference table, NYCFC (7-14-7; 28 points) lost another must-win match, this time at FC Dallas, 2-1 Saturday night at the Toyota Center.
FC Dallas (14-8-5; 47 points) scored twice late in the first half on a goal in the top far corner by Tesho Akindole and on a goal in first-half stoppage by Michel to give FC Dallas a 2-0 advantage at the half.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 13, 2015
Michel’s goal came on a rare olimpico, directly off of a corner towards the end of the first half stoppage.
After all three designated players – David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo — were all subbed out by the midway point through the second half, Ned Grabavoy drew a penalty in the 18-yard box in the 70th minute as Atiba Harris took him down. Forward Patrick Mullins, who subbed on for Villa, converted the penalty kick to bring the Blues within one at 2-1.
The goal was Mullins’ fifth of the season, tying him with Tommy McNamara for second on the team.
Mullins took over for Villa at the beginning of the half as Villa suffered a hamstring injury. His status for Wednesday’s conference matchup against Toronto FC has yet to be determined.
The Blues had chances late in the match to pull off an equalizer and steal a much-needed point from Dallas, however they missed on consecutive chances inside the box, as was the story throughout the entire night.
The loss for NYC comes at a time where they, once again, had a chance to stay within the playoff mix. With six games left, they now have to go undefeated to have a legitimate shot at the sixth and final playoff seed. Philadelphia, who held the seventh seed in the East going into Saturday night, lost 2-1 to Columbus and Chicago lost 3-2 at the Red Bulls on Friday night, putting NYCFC in prime position to climb back up into the race.
Orlando City, who holds the eighth seed at the moment, plays Sporting Kansas City on Sunday night (7 p.m., ET, FS1).
NYCFC could potentially catch a bit of a break on Wednesday when they take on a Toronto FC side that will come into the Bronx on just two-day rest, whereas the Blues have three days to recover. Toronto plays the New England Revolution Sunday evening (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
The match against Toronto (Weds., 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) should officially decide NYCFC’s playoff hopes for their 2015 inaugural season.
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