The Major League Soccer season is starting to reach that critical territory now, where every single game is of vital importance. A win or a loss could make all the difference in the world when it comes to the playoffs, and everyone knows that.
As reported by Pro Soccer USA and Soccer America, one team who recently took a big step towards the post-season is New York City FC. Ever since they made their way into the league a few years ago, it’s safe to say that their expectations have been pretty high. That’s both in terms of their own point of view, and from the fans’ point of view. That’s not an easily ‘reputation’ to uphold, but such is the nature of this game we all know and love.
Late last night they went head to head with Houston Dynamo, who find themselves in a pretty similar spot to NYCFC in terms of their ambitions for the season. The hosts got off to the best possible start with Alexandru Mitrita scoring the opening goal after the 15 minute mark, but it didn’t take long for Juan David Cabezas Nunez to level things up. Houston went down to ten men and the game remained at level pegging until the 7tth minute, when Mauro Manotas put Dynamo into the lead.
Taking strides forward
Then, in a remarkable final ten minutes, Valentin Castellanos sent the home fans into a state of ecstasy by scoring twice to win the game for NYCFC. It was the kind of gutsy, last minute performance that they needed, and it’s one that could make a huge difference for them.
“The most important thing tonight is the team’s fight until the last moment,” NYCFC coach Dome Torrent said. “When that happens you have more confidence for the next game and the next game. When that happens you know exactly you are able to come back and get the result.”
“I say to to my players, be careful because when you have the opportunities, you have to score,” Torrent said. “That happened in the first half for example against the Red Bulls, the same. We could score two or three goals and then after that they score in the last minute they scored on the penalty.
What a feeling
Getting your head down and focusing on the task at hand is one of the most important things you can do in this league, and this kind of result is proof of that. While they may not have been viewed as the runaway favourites in the race to top the Eastern Conference, in the end, it really doesn’t matter.
They’re building momentum at the exact right moment, and wins like this serve as proof of that. Nobody knows where things are going to go from this point on, and that’s the beauty of it.
Houston are going to be able to bounce back as they always do, and this should be seen as a learning experience more so than anything else.