You hear the coach Domenec Torrent and after his NYCFC team lost their second straight game, 1-0, Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, he said there are six games before the playoffs. That is, if there are playoffs after not scoring a goal in two of their last four games.
And despite what the coach said, after New England stopped 26 shots on goal, there is limited time to figure this out, though NYCFC was short again with eight players out due to injury and international duty.
But this time of year, there is no room for excuses after losing the first time this season on their home turf where they have been a come from behind team and tough to beat. And there is limited time to figure things out with the Red Bulls and Atlanta ahead in the Eastern Conference standings of the MLS.
“I’m not happy with the result but I’m happy with the way we were able to play,” Torrent said. “I’m not angry with them but I agree, when you look at the sport in general it’s about the result, not the play. Right now the battle is not over for us.”
However, coming off a 2-1 loss to Columbus, and after failing again to be that second half come from behind team against New England, there is speculation as to when NYCFC will score and how. In this league it is about the wins, and more so at this juncture of the season with hopes of finishing as one of the top two teams in the conference.
There is limited time to get this figured out, despite the optimism said by the coach and players. This MLS schedule leaves little room for consistency with a gap of in between games later this month and proximity of one to another as is the case when NYCFC hosts D.C. United Saturday evening.
“We will try to because that’s our job,” Torrent responded when asked his thoughts about NYCFC earning a bye in the playoffs.
And right now, and unless they can figure things out, his team will have difficulty as being one of those two teams to earn a bye. It may not be the play, as Torrent said. It comes down to the final results and these last few games the results have shown that NYCFC will have to fight their way into the playoffs in these last six games.
“We played well enough to walk off the field victorious tonight so it is really easy to find the positive in tonight and the way we played especially in the last couple of minutes but the final product is all that really matters in this game,” goalkeeper Sean Johnson said,
And to his credit, Johnson played his game again despite giving up the game deciding goal that was scored in the 71st minute.
“New England walks away with the result today after not playing particularly well and that’s all that really matters, results,” said Johnson. “We just have to figure out a way to get results.”
Torrent said the soccer belongs to the players. And by all means it does now with lack of scoring and those six games to figure this all out. If not, there is every chance that NYCFC will miss the playoffs for the first time in three years after reaching the conference semifinals the past two.
“We’ve had three games now where it’s been in our lap to get results and could be six to nine points further than we are now and that’s what sucks about it,” said Johnson.
But for NYCFC, it’s not that way right now. Yes, it is time to figure it out and real quick or the season that looked promising will slip away no matter what the coach says about results and playing well.