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Can New York City FC still win the MLS Cup?

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Before the Major League Soccer 2015/16 season began big things were expected of new comers New York City FC.

The franchise had secured huge investments from both Manchester City and the New York Yankees amounting to somewhere in the region of $100 million. These investments allowed them to then bring in huge names from the world of European football such as: Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, and David Villa in a bid to win the MLS Cup in their first ever season.

So with the huge amount of investment and the calibre players brought to the club, why are they currently not in a position to qualify for the playoffs with only 8 games to go?

Their 5-1 defeat to MLS giants LA Galaxy last Sunday summed their season up pretty well – okay going forward, but very little quality in defence. Their defensive record is somewhat of a horror show to say the, conceding in 44 goals already this season; Only other MLS newcomers Orlando City SC have conceded more goals than them so far.

In arguable their biggest game of the season they relied on the vastly inexperienced Manchester City loanee Shay Facey, along with Jason Hernandez who’s quality is questionable at times. It’s difficult to understand why a manager with as much quality as Jason Kreis would select such a questionable defence in such a big game with little or no defensive backup in midfield.

2 of the 3 designated players that New York City have brought in are both highly rated European midielders, so they should own the midfield in almost every game they play, however both Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard are yet to make much of an impact. Saying this Pirlo has only appeared in 6 games thus far and his link up play with Villa at times has looked promising. Lampard has also only appeared twice and further appearances have been delayed by injury.

The only place that New York City have performed consistently to a good standard is in attack. So far David Villa has amassed a total of 15 goals making him joint 3rd top goalscorer as it stands in this MLS 2015/16 season. Both Villa and Kwadwo Poku are also high up in the assist table. However if they are to produce wins from their last 8 remaining games they will need more than just their attacking players to perform. The likes of Pirlo and Andrew Jacobson need to dominate their sectors more so than they have been doing so far in this season.

The top 6 clubs from both the Western and Eastern conference qualify for the playoffs. New York City currently lie in 7th on 28 points; the team above them – Montreal Impact – also sit on 28 points, so perhaps there’s still a chance? Well not really, there is just the minor detail of the 4 games in hand that Impact have on New York City. Not only this but both New England Revolution and Toronto FC – who currently take up 4th and 5th – also have at least a game in hand on New York City and are 6 points ahead.

So to answer the question ‘can New York City FC still win the MLS cup?’. Realistically, the chances of New York City qualifying after last week’s demoralising defeat are extremely thin. They would have to win at least half of their remaining eight games to qualify, which for a team who have only won 7 from 26 might be asking a little too much.

Andrea Pirlo david Villa Frank Lampard New York City FC new york yankees

About Chris Jones

I'm an 18-year-old who has grown up with sport - particularly football, cricket and rugby - all my life. This and having a father as a journalist has fuelled my ambition to make sports journalism my profession.

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