#NYCFC Playoff Dreams a Still Alive
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK (SPORTS)- NYCFC returned to Yankee Stadium on Saturday night with the hope of advancing to playoff qualification when the regular season ends. NYC (9-14-7) was successful as it won its second consecutive match, both at home. The 3-2 victory over the San Jose Earhquakes (11-12-7) raised the New Yorkers to 34 points. The six points gained in the last two contests moved them into position for a playoff berth.
Two potential difficulties must be overcome for playoff qualification to become a reality when the regular season closes in five weeks. NYC must fare well on the road as three of their final four contests will not be played at home. The other potential problem is that several of the teams battling NYC for a playoff position have more matches remaining in which they can compile points than does NYC.
The star of Saturday’s contest, Ned Grabavoy, correctly remarked, “We can only control ourselves.”
Neither team in Saturday’s contest scored in the first half, but five goals were scored in the second 45 minutes. NYC coach Jason Kreis stated what he believed was the reason for the second half spurt in scoring, “Both teams were dead set in getting those three points [for a win].”
The veteran Grabavoy, now in his 12th season in the MLS, scored the first goal of the game with an assist from David Villa in the 51st minute. Twelve minutes later, Frank Lampard passed to Grabavoy who scored his second goal on a header.
The final NYC goal was headed into the net by team captain Villa on an assist by 18-year-old Angelino, a fellow Spaniard and Grabavoy. Villa is one of the leading scorers in the MLS with 16 goals and eight assists.
The Earthquakes began the match just one point below the playoff qualifying line in the Western Conference. They made a herculean effort in the final 20 minutes to gain additional points, but fell short. This was their fourth straight winless contest.
English superstar Lampard gave an insightful and realistic look at the last few weeks of the 2015 season, “All that matters is wining at this point. We can try to win all the games. If it’s not enough, we can hold our heads high.”
#NYCFC #Soccer #YankeeStadium