Waiting to see if New York City FC would advance to the knockout rounds of the MLS is Back Tournament was stressful enough. It literally came down to the wire as the LA Galaxy netted a 90th minute penalty against the Houston Dynamo to draw 1-1 and send NYCFC through.
But another source of anxiety for the Boys in Blue has been fitness.
Just a little over a week ago, star playmaker Maxi Moralez sustained a quad injury that was initially speculated to keep him out for “several weeks.” Fortunately, a few days later, it was reported that Maxi’s injury was minor and that he would soon be returning to play. Moralez would later make an appearance towards the end of NYCFC’s 1-0 win over Inter Miami on Monday.
In yesterday’s press conference ahead of the team’s Round of 16 matchup against longtime foes Toronto FC on Monday, NYCFC manager Ronny Deila was asked about concerns regarding Maxi and the team’s fitness levels going into the knockout rounds.
Deila kept it short and sweet saying, “Everybody is ready for the game now.”
Deila says entire team is fit for Sunday vs. Toronto. #NYCFC— Hudson River Blue (@hudsonriverblue) July 24, 2020
This is good news as it will require all hands on deck to be a Toronto side that has always proven to be pesky against the Boys in Blue and were responsible for NYCFC’s unceremonious exit from both the 2016 and 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs.
NYCFC and Toronto face off against each other on Monday, July 26 at 8:30 PM (EST).