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NYCFC makes playoffs for sixth consecutive year

Seed, home field advantage still up in the air

New York City FC v Inter Miami CF
Alexander Callens explains how the playoffs work to Talles Magno
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

With New York City FC’s win over Inter Miami CF on Saturday, the Bronx bombarderos secured a playoff spot for the sixth consecutive year.

Go ahead, take a moment and savor that feeling.

Highlight Reel

The game itself was hardly a thing of beauty, although you wouldn't know that from the highlight reel. A 90+ minute slog punctuated by three well-crafted goals, the Pigeons finally ground out the kind of fugly win that evaded the team in recent weeks.

A sloppy giveaway by Fort Lauderdale FC in the 32nd minute let Taty Castellanos score his 17th goal of the season, and NYCFC went into the half-time break leading 0-1. A goalmouth scramble in the 55th minute allowed Inter Miami to level it 1-1, but NYCFC went ahead 1-2 in the 59th minute with a gorgeous run of play started by James Sands, assisted by Maxi Moralez, and finished by Castellanos—whose 18th goal of the years puts him in the lead for the 2021 Golden Boot.

It’s worth watching again.

An 82nd minute goal from Talles Magno sealed the 1-3 win and papered over the squandered opportunities that characterized the second half. A comfortable scoreline will do that.

Playoff Picture

The three points didn’t immediately seal NYCFC’s place in the playoffs, but other games on Saturday and Sunday guaranteed that the Pigeons will be vying for the MLS cup. As of publication, NYCFC is in 4th place and will have home field advantage. That might change. The New Jersey Red Bulls and Atlanta United both play this week in the biscuit scraps left over from scheduling conflicts, and the final seeds won’t be settled until Sunday, November 7, when Decision Day lives up to its name. Some fist-bumps are being exchanged right now in MLS headquarters on Fifth Ave on a branding job well done.

We’ll sort out the playoff picture later. In the meantime, let’s relive another well-deserved celebration that took place on Saturday 35,000’ above the Eastern Seaboard. Good job, lads.