FOXBOROUGH, MA – After a fortunate result in Atlanta last week, New York City FC control their own destiny through the last two matches of the 2017 MLS Regular Season. With nothing to play for, New England Revolution will look to spoil City’s chances at a first-round bye.
New England – The Revs come into the match without any hope, with all six playoff spots claimed in the East. While they won’t be making an appearance in November, New England has certainly looked the part when playing at Gillette Stadium, where they are 11-2-3 and unbeaten in their last seven matches. Fallen opponents in that stretch include both Conference leaders – Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, with their most recent match being a 0-0 draw versus Atlanta United FC.
Home cooking really makes a difference in New England.
New York City – The Boys in Blue can improve to the second-best road record in MLS with a win Saturday evening. With Atlanta bearing down on them from behind, City need every point they can get in order to secure that ever-important first-round bye. A win on Saturday and anything but a win from both Atlanta and Chicago Fire SC, and the Pigeons clinch second place.
The Gang’s (Mostly) All Here
For the first time in a long time, NYCFC’s inactive list has only two names on it: Miguel Camargo (out for the season) and Maxime Chanot. Chanot has been training with the team in the last few weeks and looks to be on track for a playoff return.
Other notable absences include James Sands, who is with the US U-17s in India, and Maxi Moralez. After not allowing a goal in the first two group matches, Sands and his squad qualified to for the knockout rounds after a precarious 1-3 loss to Colombia.
Moralez is serving his first suspension for caution accumulation and will return for the regular season finale against Columbus Crew SC.
Kellyn Rowe is questionable for New England.
Of note is Alexander Ring‘s accumulation statistic. Leading the league with 11 cautions, a yellow Saturday evening means a third accumulation suspension for Ring in the finale versus Columbus. Definitely not an ideal scenario.
Must Win? Or Prep For Playoffs?
With both Atlanta and Chicago hunting for a bye, Patrick Vieira is in an interesting situation. After winning eight of twelve matches over the summer, City has just two wins since the start of September. With little in the way of rotation throughout the season, one has to wonder if NYCFC is feeling the effects of a long season. Most players got a small break during international play, but Yangel Herrera, Jack Harrison and Rodney Wallace – all starters for the club – played significant minutes for their international squads. Don’t be shocked to see any of them start this match on the bench.
You can catch the match live on YES, or on the radio at WFAN (or WADO in Spanish).