Back in January — prior to the season’s commencing — I posted an article entitled “Five Things The will Definitely Happen For NYCFC in 2018.” In it, I made five bold predictions for New York City
FC’s 2018 campaign. Since then, some of these have panned out; others haven’t.
So how right or wrong was I? Let’s dive in and analyze each individual prediction!
Prediction #1: Alex Ring will score his fist goal for NYCFC
Verdict: True, times two!
The Finnish Destroyer bagged not only one, but two goals this season! And to the surprise of absolutely no one. both of them were absolute bangers worthy of your applause.
The first was a clutch equalizer that came in a 2-2 draw against Atlanta United back in April, arguably the most exciting game of this season. Following a touch pass from David Villa, Ring was about 25 yards away from goal when he rocketed the ball bar-down past a helpless Brad Guzan.
If that wasn’t tasty enough, the Ringmaster delivered another gem just recently in September against the Chicago Fire.
In what would ultimately be a 2-0 win to clinch a playoff berth for NYCFC, Ring curled in a beauty in the 48th minute with his non-dominant left foot in front of the home fans at Yankee Stadium.
Needless to say, this prediction panned out quite nicely.
Prediction #2: David Villa will score a lot of goals
Verdict: Ehhh, sort of...
Unfortunately, El Guaje has struggled greatly with injury this year, preventing him from making the most optimal impact upon the team’s performances in 2018. But to say he hasn’t put up good numbers wouldn’t be an honest assessment.
In 21 games, Vila has netted 12 goals. Not bad by any stretch, but certainly not the copious amount we’re accustomed to seeing from the Spaniard. By comparison, Villa scored 18 goals in 2015, 23 goals in 2016, and 22 in 2017. Unless he goes absolutely bananas in the final two games of the season, Villa is currently on pace to get his lowest amount of goals in a season since first donning the NYCFC shirt.
But like I said, 12 goals is still quite a bit. As a matter of fact, it’s the most of anyone else on the club. So this prediction’s verdict is pretty much subjective in the end.
Prediction #3: Maxime Chanot and Alex Callens will be the best CB duo in MLS
Whether their form has been good or bad, NYCFC has seen plenty of rotation at the center back position in 2018. Though Chanot and Callens could — and maybe should — still be considered to be the ideal choices on game day, former trialist Sebastien Ibeagha has gotten his fair share of minutes this season, despite his returns being a bit inconsistent.
Not only was this prediction wrong, but I take full responsibility for not forging a fire “Double-C” nickname for the duo while the iron was still hot last year. Oh well, there’s always next season. Maybe.
Prediction #4: NYCFC will play a game on the moon
Verdict: Nope! Surprisingly.
Obviously, I was being tongue-in-cheek when I envisioned the Bronx Blues playing within Luna’s silhouette on the moon’s surface. More specifically, I was referring to NYCFC being forced to play in another stadium due to scheduling conflicts with the New York Yankees.
To my surprise, City did not need to vacate the premises at any point in 2018 due to most of the Yankees’ rain-outs being road games, as well as their quick outing in the ALDS at the hands of the Boston Red Sox. Still, let’s keep that search going for our own home.
Also, double fail points for me predicting that the Yankees would win the World Series this year.
Prediction #5: NYCFC will win the MLS Cup
Verdict: Highly unlikely, but still TBD.
In retrospect, it’s hard to blame me for predicting NYCFC would win it all in 2018. Hell, the first few months of the season seemed to do nothing but reinforce that belief as City went unbeaten through their first seven games and remained on top of the MLS table well into the summer.
Unfortunately, those title hopes have slowly deteriorated into hopeless dreams as the club has seen a drastic dip in form since Domé Torrent’s takeover. Going into these final two games of the season, NYCFC have only won two of their last eleven games and have fallen off the torrid pace they set early on in the season. Blame it on the injuries, blame it on the coaching; blame it on whatever you want. But this club does not look ready or able to win MLS’s top prize in 2018.
Obviously, we’re not there yet. Things could always change. But does anyone really expect them to?