New York City FC are all lined up for their first MLS Cup shot after fighting back late for a 2-1 victory over Eastern Conference Final hosts Philadelphia Union.

For a long time, the visitors were barely able to get out of their half, let alone build any sort of attack-zone time. Three second-half subs then changed the flow of the game, which eventually led to Talles Magno burying a winner with mere moments left on the clock.

Now, an MLS Cup 2021 date with the Portland Timbers on Dec. 11 awaits Ronny Deila's team (3 pm ET | ABC, UniMas). Beforehand, here's how they fared on an individual level.

The NYCFC goalkeeper nearly had one of his old handling nightmares but escaped. Johnson moved the ball around well other than that and made three saves look routine.

The young right back has seen better days, and will see many more in the future. Gray didn't provide needed push up the flank and committed some sins of omission at the back.

As usual, the Luxembourg defender was large and in charge around his box. At the other end, it was a creeping Chanot long blast that sparked the chaos of NYCFC's fast equalizer.

Honestly, it would be unfair to dock Callens much for the own goal. He was striving to make a play, had his man cordoned off and his stretching touch to deal with a diabolical ball in was just unlucky.

The typically active left back had only subdued impact in the first half, but solidified his defensive and possession support games after the break.

Although he enjoyed an uncharacteristically sound passing game, Morales sat too deep too often to have any real impact with it. For most of the day, he wasn't helping his side halt or break pressure.

Though the youngster did his typically safe work with the ball, he spent most of the opening frame chasing passing triangles. Like most of his teammates, Sands did lift his game a notch when the subs entered.

Overall, this was a relatively bland Moralez performance. Nevertheless, the veteran came through with the needed cool in front of goal when his team couldn't afford to miss a rare chance. Without his calm finish, they might be packing for the winter right now.

The young winger kept himself busy in the first half, without ever conjuring a big play. Though Rodriguez was not as noticeable for much of the second half, it was his possession work that facilitated NYCFC's leveler.

As is periodically the case, Medina did well enough when he had the ball. And as can also be the case, he wasn't finding the ball near enough. That lack of availability is why he was pulled before the hour of a scoreless game.

One doesn't want to be too unkind to the NYCFC striker, who hadn't started in over a year and, more pertinently, hardly saw any service.

Ronny Deila
Head coach

For more than an hour, things simply were not clicking for NYCFC. The game was being played on Philadelphia's terms and the visitors seemed resigned to banging their head against the same wall over and over. It took a long time for Deila to make any adjustments, and then he made them all at once. And then they worked wonders, and NYCFC are off to their first MLS Cup. Talk about pulling a grade out of the fire, eh?


The Iceland international is the picture of "try, try again" after teeing up an easy winner. Thorarinsson's crossing game wasn't working until he took advantage of a gaffe to play the set-up hero.

The Union pretty much had NYCFC patterns figured out until the substitute winger entered to shake things up. Tajouri-Shradi made different runs, opened different lanes and asked different questions, finally unsettling the home defense.

Even before making the run and finish to pot the winner, the young forward was problematic to Philadelphia.