NOTE: This game will not be broadcast on TV.
Before the European Championships and the Copa América Centenario take center stage, New York City play one last game at home. They'll square off against Real Salt Lake tonight in Yankee Stadium at 7 p.m. This is the only time the two teams will play each other this season. It also marks the return of left back Chris Wingert to the Bronx. Wingert, who was released by the Blues in the off-season, was picked up by RSL, the team he starred for prior to coming to New York.
Both the Blues and RSL are in the thick of the playoff race. However, for New York City, their bid for a Historic™ first-ever playoff spot could be hobbled by their atrocious home form. New York City has won just one game at home this season. No other team in Major League Soccer has a worse record at home.
Why? Because no other team in MLS has more trouble closing out games at home. Look at the team's record at home thus far. Of the team's seven draws and losses at home, three came with goals scored in extra time off set pieces. Another came off a winning position in which the Blues let their opponent equalize.
Would you believe that Orlando City come back in stoppage and draw? Of course they do. Molino with the goal. pic.twitter.com/UhDN7fA66E— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) May 29, 2016
Patrick Vieira can talk about being more ruthless with finishing chances all he wants. But let's be clear: if Andrea Pirlo is merely tracking Kevin Molino the way every soccer player is taught to track any opposing player in your own penalty area, Molino isn't wide open to bury a header deep into stoppage time. And instead of one point, New York City have three. Instead of eight points from eight home matches, the Blues would likely have 20. Instead of trailing the Philadelphia Union by five points, they'd be leading the East by seven.
The good thing is something like this can be easily fixed. The question is: do New York City want to? Do they care to? Because, let's face it, this isn't a new thing. This is an ongoing issue. And the easiest things to address are those you can control.
Remember: Ronald Matarrita is away on Copa América duty with Costa Rica. Federico Bravo will be out injured for the next few weeks. So tonight's lineup looks different for those reasons. Don't be surprised if the star-crossed Frank Lampard makes his first start for the Blues.
Yes, this game won't be on TV. If you want to watch, online streaming is your friend. That, or go to Yankee Stadium.