Taty Castellanos - NYCFC - Celebrate

New York City FC are coming off one of their best performances of the season in a 5-2 Hudson River Derby romp over the New York Red Bulls, and ahead of the postseason, it's worth considering if the Cityzens (11W-8L-3D) are contenders to go on a run.


They haven't been a huge part of the discussion, with some erratic form during and after the MLS is Back Tournament, and the loss of starting striker Heber to a torn ACL. But if the demolition of RBNY is any indication of what they have in store the rest of the season, perhaps NYCFC have made it click at just the right time.


Extratime's Matt Doyle is buying it, saying that the unit of Alexander Ring, Keaton Parks and Maxi Moralez is as formidable as anyone in the league. 


"All three of the guys can pass the ball, all three of the guys move, all three of the guys work defensively," Doyle said. "Father time is catching up to Maxi a little bit, they have to manage his minutes, they have to be smart about that. But if he's playing like he did against the Red Bulls they can beat anybody in the league. They are a problem. If you just build the central midfield right, you don't need a world-beater of a striker. You just need somebody to make the right runs to finish off the plays that the talent creates around him. And that's what [Valentin] Castellanos did this weekend and got himself a hat trick."

The key, Doyle said, is making sure that core stays healthy, which has been an issue for the club in an injury-riddled season. At full strength though, the Cityzens don't have the look of a club anyone will want to see come playoff time.


"If – and it's a massive 'if', especially in this season which was filled with soft tissue injuries because of the compressed schedule – if these guys stay healthy, you have [Anton] Tinnerholm on one side and [Ronald] Matarrita on the other, and a very solid central defense, NYCFC's a problem. NYCFC is a legit problem. Not just in the East, but everybody."