After New York City FC’s clear 2-0 victory over the New Jersey Red Bulls on Saturday, the Pigeons are just one point away from securing their seventh straight appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs. What a difference a weekend makes.
Really, it’s that simple: If NYCFC wins at least one point in the “home” game at Red Bull Arena against Orlando City on Sunday, October 2, or in the away game at Atlanta United on Sunday, October 9, then New York City will make it to the postseason. As always, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
NYCFC could advance before even taking the field if Miami draws or loses to Toronto FC on Friday, Sept. 30, or if Columbus Crew draws or loses to the Red Bulls on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Those are just a few of the most direct routes culled from the many, many paths that could lead NYCFC to the postseason. In fact, due to the tiebreaker rule in the MLS-issued Competition Guidelines, there is only one scenario in which NYCFC is eliminated from the playoff scene, and that is a Byzantine sequence of events in which five teams get a specific set of results. — and three of them scoring a ridiculous number of goals.
What is the only non-playoff scenario for New York City? Simple:
1. NYCFC must lose to Orlando and Atlanta to finish with 49 points
two. Y Orlando must beat NYCFC, tie Miami and lose to Columbus to finish with 49 points plus overcome a -20 goal difference with NYCFC
3. Y FC Cincinnati must pick up at least five points from its last three games to finish with 51 points either take four points to finish with 49 points plus overcome a difference of -8 goals with NYCFC
Four. Y Miami must beat Toronto, tie Orlando and beat Montreal to finish with 49 points plus score tons of goals to overcome a -25 goal differential with NYCFC
5. Y Columbus must sweep New Jersey, FC Charlotte and Orlando to finish with 51 points
It looks like a stretch. But let us remember that Gerhard Struber taught us that arrogance can be cruel: we are not going to give guarantees that we cannot fulfill. NYCFC isn’t in it until it’s in it, and the team could theoretically miss out on the playoffs if the above script is followed to the letter.
It’s entirely possible in this universe that New York City loses to Orlando by 10 goals, and Miami wins by a 15-goal margin in three games, and a Columbus that hasn’t had a win since August 31 ends the season with a 3-pointer. . game winning streak. That’s why we’re going to keep the champagne and Heineken in the back of the fridge for now, and wait until the official results start coming in late next week.