NYCFC Advances To Semifinal Round

By Carlos DeJesus IV & Rich Mancuso

NYCFC is headed to the MLS Eastern Conference Semifinals for the third straight year and got there with a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union Wednesday evening at Yankee Stadium in the knockout round. They advance to play Atlanta United and host the first leg of the series Sunday at Yankee Stadium with a time to be determined.

Return leg of the semifinal round is scheduled for November 11th in Atlanta.  If NYCFC prevails in the series, determined by most goals scored and combined by either team, they could be headed to a conference final matchup with the New Jersey Red Bulls. The two teams have a rivalry and would compete for a spot in the MLS finals.

New York City midfielder Ismael Tajouri (29) controls the ball during the second half against the Philadelphia Union at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

NYCFC has won their last three games at home. They advanced to the knockout game with a final and decision day win over Philadelphia at Yankee Stadium last Sunday.

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored bis 12th goal of the season, David Villa his 15th and has scored in four straight games.

NYCFC  for the second consecutive match scored early. They never trailed and continued their momentum that was seen in their season finale.

 New York City forward David Villa (7) controls the ball as Philadelphia Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya (11) pursues during the second half at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s important in the knockout games when you score a goal because we have two plans, if we scored a goal or if they scored a goal,”  coach Domenec Torrent said. “An amazing goal for Ismael to score but it’s very important because everyone knows what happens when we score a goal, keeping calm. We have time and and we have to take advantage and we have to play different when they do.”

Villa, said about the quick turnaround and meeting Atlanta Sunday, “They are an amazing team and they did very well during the regular season. But when we play them again, we’ll be ready for them.”

New York City forward Valentin Castellans  plays the ball in front of Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie (during the second half at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta, second seed in he East division and NYCFC met twice this season with both matches ending in ties.





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