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Here’s how New York City FC can advance in the MLS is Back Tournament

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The Blues need a bit of help to keep their tournament hopes alive

MLS: New York City FC at Inter Miami CF Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (7/22): Cincinnati beat the Red Bulls 2-0. That’s Scenario 1 accomplished!

Original story: New York City FC did themselves no favors by dropping their first two MLS is Back Tournament group stage games. Following a sloppy but competent 1-0 win over Inter Miami, however, the Blues have kept their tournament hopes alive.

Unfortunately, NYCFC are gonna need some help to advance. A lot of help. So we’ve scoured the interwebs looking for ways we can see the Blues advance to the Knockout Phase of the MLSIB Tournament. And after careful curation and research, here are all the scenarios that would propel the Pigeons to a berth.


NYCFC needs at least two of the following three scenarios to play out in order to advance: (courtesy of Glenn Crooks)

Scenario 1 — New York Red Bulls vs. FC Cincinnati (7/22, 8:00 PM ET)

  • New York Red Bulls win OR
  • FC Cincinnati win 1-0 OR
  • FC Cincinnati win by 2+ goals OR
  • FC Cincinnati win 2-1; NYCFC and Red Bulls would be tied on points, and goals for. Would come down to disciplinary points

Scenario 2 — Chicago Fire vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (7/23, 9:00 AM ET)

  • Vancouver win 1-0; NYCFC and Chicago would be tied on points, and goals for. Would come down to disciplinary points.

Scenario 3 — Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy (7/23, 8:00 PM ET)

  • Draw
  • LA Galaxy win by 2 or less goals

It’s never easy to advance by virtue of other teams’ performances. And as it stands, FiveThirtyEight gives NYCFC a 41% chance of advancing to the knockout rounds. However, I personally don’t see these results as unattainable.

The Red Bulls-Cincinnati game is tonight at 8:00 PM ET. And I never thought I’d say this, but you should be rooting for the Jersey Boys to take the W tonight.

Stay tuned. And keep your fingers crossed.