NYCFC won 2-1 in Montreal on Saturday Night, leapfrogging the Montreal Impact team in the Eastern Conference standings. After a disappointing defeat to the Red Bulls last week, NYCFC found a perfect way to recover and helped fans enjoy July 4 even more. NYCFC now sit three points behind sixth placed Toronto FC, the team they host on Sunday July 12.
David Villa scored two beautiful goals to set up the victory. His first was a tough angle shot from his left foot, low and into the far side of the goal. Villa’s second was a free kick shot low and hard to the goalkeepers side, which surprised Evan Bush in the Montreal goal.
In the 88th minute, Josh Saunders made a diving save to his right-hand top corner to help NYCFC hold on for victory. Saturday’s three points put NYCFC in a strong position for the playoff push. The playoff race is wide open because the five teams above NYCFC are separated by only one point.
In addition, the three teams above NYCFC, lost last night, including the New York Red Bulls. New England Revolution have lost their last four MLS games, so there are frailties in some of the teams currently holding the playoff spots. NYCFC will look to exploit these as they seek glory in their first season.
Frank Lampard was pictured in NYCFC training this past week, as he nears his debut. Lampard could be available to play on Sunday against Toronto. After the defeat to the Red Bulls he said, “The atmosphere is great. To have 50,000 fans in New York is something special. I really can’t wait to get out there.”
Andrea Pirlo’s debut will most likely be after Lampard’s because they are still finalizing the deal. Pirlo’s name was added to the NYCFC official squad this week, but was immediately removed. It is tantalizing for fans, but they will figure out the final details soon. With the new signings and playoff race, it’s a great time to be a NYCFC fan.