With the playoffs looming and time to reverse fortunes running out, New York City FC and the New England Revolution face each other on Wednesday night (7 pm ET | TV & streaming info) as desperation begins to mount.
It's been more than a month since NYCFC won a game and more than two months for the Revs. Pressure is on for both sides for differing reasons. New England have faded fast from a playoff place, while NYCFC has fallen behind in the Supporters' Shield race.
The Revs have fallen six points below the playoff line and have recently been leveled by D.C. United as they make their ascension up the table. Revolution head coach Brad Friedel has acknowledged the urgency, saying this weekend that every player is playing for their contract now. After such a promising start, their season has stalled.
Meanwhile, NYCFC will be in the playoffs, for sure. But they are now seven points away from a first-round playoff bye and have looked far from the Supporters' Shield challenging side they've been most of the season.
Dome Torrent's side hardly appears like a title challenger at the moment.
“We played like we were frightened,” Torrent said after NYCFC's 2-1 loss to Columbus Crew SC this weekend. “When that happens, you lose control. When you lose control, you have to run a lot and you don’t have the ball and you have to defend.”
A loss to the Revolution would further push City into their spiral, but one win can just as easily spark a streak to be proud of. With NYCFC undefeated at Yankee Stadium this season, a little home-cooking might be just what the doctor prescribed. Same for New England with a chance for a rare road victory, as they can still control their fate should they return to form.
“It doesn’t matter what their home record is, to be honest with you,” Friedel said Tuesday. “It is a must need for us. All the players know it. If we get it, we’re right back in the race — which is crazy because we haven’t won in so long and we can still match Montreal with the games in hand on them. We just have to put in a monumental effort.”
There's all to play for on Wednesday night in the Bronx. But time is running out.