NYCFC Secures Eastern Conference Top Seed

New York City forward Heber (9) and New England Revolution defender Antonio Delamea Mlinar (19) chase a loose ball. Photo: Winslow Townson-USA Today Sports

The result on Sunday against the New England Revolution was not to the liking of New York City FC (NYCFC) but by the end of the day, the Boys from the Bronx got what they wanted.

With the Philadelphia Union losing to the Columbus Crew 2-0, New York City clinched the top spot in the Eastern Conference. As a result, NYCFC will be home throughout the East portion of the upcoming MLS Playoffs. 

In addition, finishing in first place in the conference also secured the team’s first-ever berth in the Concacaf Champions League.  

“That result (in Columbus) was great for us and we’ll take it as a win,” said Sean Johnson, NYCFC’s goalkeeper. “Eastern Conference champions and [Concacaf] Champions League as well is something to be happy about.”

While New York City’s playoff positioning is set, what remains in flux is where the team will be playing its post-season matches. With the New York Yankees about to begin play in Major League Baseball’s playoffs, possible conflicts between the teams could lead to NYCFC playing its home matches outside of the Bronx.

As for New York City’s penultimate match of the regular season, its 2-0 defeat at the hands of New England on Sunday was the team’s first loss since an August 11 2-1 defeat to Atlanta United. 

“I think we played well,” said Domenec Torrent, NYCFC’s head coach. “We deserved goals in the first half to score maybe two goals. But you know what happened, like so many times in soccer, if you are unable to score goals, the soccer [will] punish you. That happened for me in that game.”

New York City will close out its fifth season on Sunday, October 6, when they travel south to Philadelphia to take on the Union. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.