Day Review: 2/23/22
What happened for NYCFC on February 23.
- Defeated Santos de Guapiles
- Move on to quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League
- Find out that they are play Comunicaciones
- 1 Liga MX Team in Concacaf Champions League was Eliminated
- NYCFC was Ranked #1 in MLS's Power Rankings
NYCFC Defeats Santos de Guapiles
NYCFC cruised to a 4-0 (6-0 AGG) win to move on to the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League. This extends their impressive unbeaten streak to 11, and if you count preseason it becomes 16. "It took a little bit of time to understand the way we really wanted to play, but since we understand that, especially the few games before the playoffs, we can see we're in a good form," center back Maxime Chanot said. "We were seeing that during the playoffs and we see that during the preseason. We didn't lose any games and we can see tonight, everyone knows what they have to do. Everyone knows this task from the goalkeeper to the strikers, and I think we can feel it on the pitch."
NYCFC Moves on to the Quarterfinals
NYCFC, moving onto the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League, will have a packed schedule with the middle of the MLS season occuring. But, Ronny Deila is not concerned.
"We love to play games, so that's no problem," Deila said. "Last year we played a game every three days and we are used to it. Now actually it's boring to train so much, so we just keep on playing. We want to win and if we get through in the Champions League we will have lots of games this spring. There's nothing better than that, so we prepare. We are fit, we have good consistency in the team, in the staff, everything. So we just want to continue with where we ended with two good games now against Santos."
NYCFC Knows That They Are Playing Comunicaciones
In leg 1 of Colorado vs Comunicaciones, Comunicaciones had an 89th minute goal to put them ahead 1-0. Then, early in leg 2, Colorado pulled an equalizer. The game went into penalty kicks, and after a whole lot of saves, Comunicaciones came away with a winner. NYCFC feels that they are prepared for their game against Guatemala's Comunicaciones.
"We are ready, we have a big squad," Chanot said. "We know everybody can play, so I believe it's going to be more strength, the fact that we already played two games, [rather] than a weakness. I can't wait."
Santos Laguna was Eliminated from the Concacaf Champions League
Montreal pulled off an upset against Santos Laguna. Early in the first leg, Montreal had a goal taken back by VAR. Then, later in the game, Santos Laguna came up with a goal to put them up 1-0. In the second leg, Montreal won 3-0 to pull off the upset.
"Today it was a near-perfect game, in my opinion," said Djordje Mihailovic, "This game wasn't our first game of the season? No, we went into that first game a little over-anxious, I think, because it was our first game. And despite giving up a goal in the last couple minutes, we left the game pretty optimistic. And when we came back to Montreal, a lot of the guys were very confident that we can do something special here tonight, which we did. And when I say perfect game, it was a collective game. Everybody did their roles almost to perfection."
Also, Head coach Wilfried Nancy said "When my team is like that, we are able to do something good," At the same time also, we're going to have bad moments, we're going to suffer, we're going to suffer together. And today the team was spot-on in terms of the spirit ... I'm not surprised. We have a lot of humility, because this is the way we want to attack all the games, and today they did it well, and this is our team. I don't know if this is a statement, what I know is we did it," he added, "and we did it with the way we want to play, offensively and especially also defensively."
Mihailovic also said that it was an important game for the development in his career, and thinks it may be a start of something big for Montreal.
"I didn't want to come to this club and leave after one season. Winning a trophy last year, developing individually as a player, I wouldn't want to leave that. I mentioned it before that in order for me to leave in this winter transfer window, it had to be in something out of the blue, something so extraordinary that the club and I couldn't turn down, and that didn't happen. Nonetheless, I'm extremely happy at this club and all I have to do is look at how I progressed as a player last year. And the mindset of this club is to go forward and I'm definitely on board with that."
"We have a good idea of what we want to accomplish this year and we're a confident young team," he said. "Last year was a huge growing opportunity for a lot of guys, as well as an opportunity for us to cement, and twist a lot of heads about us. We ended the year with a Canadian Championship and we brought that momentum into this competition, and now we played a fantastic game tonight against a team that broke this club's heart a while back. And now it's looking forward to the start of the MLS season." said Mihailovic.
NYCFC Ranked #1 in Power Rankings
A big reason that NYCFC in ranked #1 is because they won MLS Cup. They also re-signed Maxi Moralez, and signed new DP center back Thiago Martins, then they kept Taty Castellanos. This is mostly why they are ranked #1. Maybe this year they can put together a more consistent season while balancing Concacaf Champions League.
Remember when Ronny Deila said, "We have a very young squad, the depth in this squad is not good enough to do something in MLS. We need more quality players." Well now he has his quality players and the depth he needs. That and MLS Cup is plenty to be ranked #1.