To say New York City FC’s second half of the 2018 MLS season has been turbulent would be a gross understatement. Having only won once in the last eight games — that win coming on August 12 against Toronto FC — the Blues have struggled to get points as of late and are now well behind the pace of both Atlanta United and the New York Red Bulls who sit first and second in the Eastern Conference respectively.
Despite their rough patch of form, NYCFC have an opportunity to officially lock down a playoff spot this Friday when they play the Montreal Impact, who are currently holding on to sixth place and the last available playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The job shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish for City, who will be coming into Friday’s matchup on 14 days’ rest, giving them time to recoup players lost to injury, suspension, and international duty. Such returns are expected from Ebenezer Ofori, Alex Ring, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, and Alex Callens. Jo Inge Berget, arguably NYCFC’s greatest wild card this season, is also suspected to be back after the club released photos of him seemingly participating in full training this afternoon.
With the only question mark going into the Montreal matchup being that of Young DP Jesus Medina’s fitness, City has a huge opportunity to wash away the sins of recent past. Though nothing could possibly mute the disappointment stemming from them practically giving away the Supporter’s Shield and, potentially, a spot in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League, all could be forgiven should NYCFC find their form ahead of the MLS Cup playoffs and giving fans a reason to cheer again.
Seriously, though: why would you loan out Jonathan Lewis!?