New York City FC faces another must-win match to stay alive in the playoff chase in Saturday night’s date with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
By Jeff Weisinger
Entering a three-game road trip, New York City FC is desperate for two things: a win and help. However, they aren’t getting the latter and need the first to keep any hope of sneaking into the playoffs alive.
With Orlando City defeating the Red Bulls Friday night 5-2 and Montreal staying hot in the final stretch of the season, winning 2-1 over the Chicago Fire Wednesday night and 2-0 over D.C. United Saturday night, NYCFC needs a win at the Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday night just to stay in the race for the sixth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference (10 p.m. ET, YES).
Montreal knocks off DC United by a score of 2-0. This weekend has so far worked out in the worst scenario for #NYCFC after TFC and OCSC won
— Michael Schwartz (@MichaelSchwart2) September 26, 2015
“We’re just going there looking for three points, that’s it,” midfielder Andrew Jacobson said. “Whatever we’ve got to do to get the win, that’s what we’re going to do.
While hopeful, let alone giving the Blues something to possibly play for as we head into the final four games of the season, NYCFC’s hole may be too deep for head coach Jason Kreis and company to dig out of.
“They don’t get any bigger,” Kreis mentioned. “We know we go there with the attitude that we need three points.”
To go in with the attitude of getting three points is the ideal mentality for a team desperate to make the postseason in the first year. To do it against the best team in the league is another story.
The Whitecaps are currently tied with the Red Bulls for the most points in the league (currently ahead of the Red Bulls in the Supporters’ Shield standings with one more win to their tally) and lead the league in victories (15). The Blues haven’t had much success in west coast games this season, recently getting blown out 5-1 at the defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy 5-1 back on Aug. 23.
NYCFC is 0-2-1 in west coast games this year, the only non-loss coming in a scoreless draw at Colorado back on Mar. 21. Their last road win came at the Montreal Impact, 2-1 on July 4 on a brace by captain David Villa.
Despite being regarded as the best, if not one of the best teams in the league, Vancouver enters Saturday night’s match losing two of their last three matches, most recently falling 3-0 to the Seattle Sounders.
The Blues, on the other hand, have won two of their last three against two potentially high-powered offenses in Toronto FC and the San Jose Earthquakes. They stopped a late Earthquake rally last Saturday night at Yankee Stadium, holding on for the 3-2 win.
NYCFC has looked better on both sides of the pitch, however Vancouver has been twice as good all season. The Whitecaps have posted 11 clean sheets this season compared the NYCFC’s four, faced less shots due to a backline that has recorded three of those clean sheets in the last four home matches.
While a win will keep NYCFC in the playoff hunt for another week, they still need to rely on other teams to sneak in as the sixth seed. Both the Impact and Orlando City play each other next Saturday, a match that won’t help NYCFC either way – if Orlando wins, they’ll take over the sixth seed, while Montreal can distance themselves even more from both the Lions and NYC with a win.
“We can’t afford to drop any points,” defender Shay Facey stated “We need to come away with all three (points) out of the last four of our games.”
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