New York City FC-Revolution Preview
Ronny Deila believes New York City FC can make a splash in the playoffs, as they prepare to face number one seed New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
New England received a bye to the semi-final stage thanks to their Supporters' Shield success, while NYCFC beat Atlanta United 2-0 to reach this phase of the postseason.
NYCFC finished fourth in the East, with three wins from their last four regular season games putting them in good form heading into the playoffs.
"We've been on a good run now with a lot of good results and good performances. And we want to keep on going," Deila said in a media conference.
"We believe we can do big things and if we can get through this, it will be the best season ever in the club's history. And that's something we want to achieve, but to do that we have to have a top, top performance and that's what we are focused on every day."
NYCFC are facing a Revs' team that has just had its coach, Bruce Arena, named MLS Coach of the Year for a fourth time.
"I would have to say I don't remember anybody ever getting Coach of the Year with a s*** team, and bad players, so the players are responsible," Arena told his team after being told he had won the award, in a video on the Revs' official website.
"Secondly, I have great coaching staff. That's their trophy. And lastly, our trainers, our people in the weights room, they do an outstanding job, so that's an award for the team. That's a collective effort by everyone."
New England Revolution - Carles Gil
Carles Gil finished the regular season with four goals and 13 assists, and I sure to be their main focal point in the postseason.
NYCFC - Valentin Castellanos
MLS Golden Boot winner Valentin Castellanos scored NYCFC's opening goal against Atlanta, taking his tally of goals for 2021 to 20 - an improvement of nine on his previous best, set in 2019.
- NYCFC was one of five teams to defeat the Revolution this season, winning, 2-0, at Yankee Stadium on August 28. New England won the other two meetings with NYCFC in 2021 and have won three of the last four games between the sides, with all three Revs wins coming by a one-goal margin.
- All three of NYCFC's playoff successes have come at home, including a win over Atlanta United in the first round this year. New England has only two home playoff losses, one on a breakaway shootout in its first postseason match in October 1997 and the other in the 2002 MLS Cup Final. New England has a record of 13 wins and five draws in its other 18 home postseason matches.
- New England set an MLS record with 73 points this season and tied a post-breakaway shootout era (since 2000) record with 22 victories (with the Red Bulls in 2018). Eighteen of those 22 victories were by one-goal margins, well ahead of the previous mark of 13 one-goal wins in a single season (4 times).
- NYCFC has reached the Conference Semifinals for the fifth time in the last six seasons, only missing out in 2020. NYCFC has never gone past the Conference Semifinals in team history, being eliminated in each of its previous four trips to this round. NYCFC and Chivas USA are the only teams to reach the Conference Semifinal more than three times and never advance to a Conference Final.
- This will be the first postseason meeting between the Revs and NYCFC as well as Arena's first playoff matchup with NYCFC, who will be the 22nd different opponent Arena will face in the playoffs, with Arena's team eliminating 16 of the previous 21 opponents at least once.
Updated November 29, 2021