It really did happen.
And as a result, NYCFC fans ought to tip the cap ever-so-slightly toward Harrison, New Jersey. But only slightly.
Following Friday night’s 4-1 smasher over Chicago at Yankee Stadium, New York City FC needed only a humble modicum of assistance from any number of Eastern Conference teams the following day in order to punch their first-ever ticket to the MLS Cup Playoffs. That help came from los Toros Rojos, who bested Montreal by one goal to nil.
Let’s not lose sight, though, of who’s most responsible for this major moment in NYCFC’s history.
Remember David Villa? You know, the guy with 37 goals in 60 games?
How about Khiry Shelton, the first man ever to make his professional soccer debut for New York’s newest team?
Well, they did so much Kobe-level work on Friday night that it’s amazing neither one tore his Achilles
And what a time to do it.
As we’ve written here before, just making the playoffs in the Eastern Conference of MLS is kinda like making the playoffs in the Eastern Conference of the NBA— it itself, it’s really not such an accomplishment. The West is stronger in both cases, and more teams make it than not (can we fix this, please???).
But in the context of a team playing just its second season of soccer — period — this is a massive moment in the timeline of the grand NYCFC experiment.
With this top-line goal now out of the way, of course, Patrick Vieira’s boys can now pivot toward greater prizes. A first-round playoff bye? A punched ticket for next year’s edition of the CONCACAF Champions League? Everything feels possible today.
So let’s go win everything.