Major Keys: Will NYCFC Clinch Second Seed?

Major Keys Columbus Crew SC

New York City FC finish off their 2017 MLS Regular Season campaign on Sunday afternoon when Columbus Crew are the visitors to Citi Field in Queens.

There’s plenty on the line going into the final 90’ of the season, so here’s Managing Editor Mark Booth to pick out seven of the Major Keys to the Match, presented by Ford

Decision Day

It comes down to this… one match to determine who will join Toronto FC with an automatic place in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Standing in the way is a Columbus Crew SC with Playoff ambitions of their own following a solid Regular Season showing.

Gregg Berhalter’s men have already clinched but can move up as far as third with a win, so there’s a huge incentive for the visitors to secure all three points in Queens.

For NYCFC, this is a case of history repeating as for the second year in a row, we close out our campaign at home to The Crew.

Let’s hope this encounter goes just as well as the 2016 meeting which ended in a 4-1 win for the Boys in Blue…

READ:Rewind – Closing Out 2016 vs. Columbus


If NYCFC records the victory then you can save yourself reading through the exhaustive list of permutations and worrying about the Knockout Round – if that happens, we qualify in second place and are automatically through.

If not, things get a little tougher to unpick as results in other games will come into play and affect our ultimate MLS Playoffs destiny.

Toronto vs. Atlanta and Chicago vs. Houston are the two games which could swing the balance if NYCFC fails to win, with a tie leaving us anywhere from second to fourth place and a loss anywhere from second to fifth.

For a more exhaustive list of permutations (there are a lot of moving parts), check out Jordan Griffith’s research below…

Soccer at Citi Field

Due to the Yankees’ participation in the MLB postseason, this game was moved to Citi Field in Queens, meaning the Boys in Blue will play out of Queens for the first time in club history.

While the ideal scenario for such an important game would see us defending Yankee Stadium, preparations will suffer minimum disruption and the players have a chance to acclimatize to the different field on Friday morning.

This isn’t the first time Citi Field has hosted soccer – it will be the fifth occasion and you can read all about the previous times the beautiful game has graced the home of the Mets below…

READ:Feature – Soccer at Citi Field

Last Time

NYCFC were sans David Villa when they arrived at MAPFRE Stadium back at the end of April.

It was a game notable for a whole host of reasons – not least, the emergence of Ben Sweat who made his MLS debut and earned the Man of the Match award for an excellent performance.

Yangel Herrera and Sean Okoli also earned their first starts and both shone as a Jack Harrison-inspired NYC came from behind to win 3-2.

Jack’s In!

Speaking of Harrison, Jack had the red card he was issued with against New England rescinded on Tuesday and is clear to play.

The England U-21 international was sent-off for a challenge on Teal Bunbury but common sense prevailed and the 20-year old is likely to be in the lineup which takes to the field at 4pm on Sunday.

All the more reason to come along and lend your support!

Expect Goals

That road win in April made it two consecutive wins over Columbus after we went winless in our first four games against them (2L, 2D).

When NYCFC and the Crew meet, there tends to be fireworks… in fact, there have been an average of 4.7 goals scored per game in the six meetings.

It’s now been eight games since we scored more than one goal – will the levy break on Sunday?

READ:Humans of NYCFC – Paul Jeffries

Bring the Noise

Over to Sean Johnson and Patrick Vieira


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