Through New York City FC’s first four games, they have notched three wins and a draw. This unbeaten streak is the best start in franchise history, a huge testament to the contributions of new signings such as Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and new DP Jesus Medina.
This franchise-record start has also put NYCFC at the top of Major League Soccer’s official power rankings, a spot they’ve occupied since Week 2. Though the 2018 season is still in its infancy, City has poised themselves to be the new gold standard in MLS following the slow start that Toronto FC has had out of the gate (though it should be noted that they have making waves in the CONCACAF Champions League). And should they be able to pull out another good road result this weekend against the San Jose Earthquakes, NYCFC will be riding of huge wave of confidence before returning to Yankee Stadium on April 11 to take on Real Salt Lake.
Also on the come-up, however, is the Columbus Crew — the team that sent the Blues home packing in the 2017 Eastern Conference Semi-finals by way of a 4-3 aggregate scoreline. Like NYCFC, the Crew have stormed out the gate in 2018 with three wins and a draw, leaving the top of the Eastern Conference in a deadlock. The first New York City-Columbus showdown doesn’t occur until July 14, so NYCFC will have to go about their business and hope to maintain the pace until then. And though it is still too early in the season to really worry about these things, I don’t have to remind our readers on exactly what Columbus is going through. They are a team with truly nothing to lose, and that makes them extremely dangerous for the time being.
NYCFC won’t be without reinforcements to help continue their top run, though. NYCFC announced this week that captain and franchise-leading goalscorer David Villa has traveled with the team and is expected to play against the Quakes on Saturday.
The return of El Guaje is of the utmost importance. Should he fight off Father Time for at least this year, there is little in the way of New York City running through the league en route to silverware.
But don’t phone it in. The season is long, and there is some fierce competition hot on the Bronx Blues’ heels.