BRONX, N.Y. — A few months removed from thinking he’d be run out of town, Dome Torrent has New York City FC on an MLS-best 11 match unbeaten streak and standing tall as the last team with just one loss.
“I’m very happy with them because right now they have confidence with themselves and that is good news for us,” Torrent said after NYCFC’s come-from-behind 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Union. “I don’t know what will happen in the future, but right now I say to them, ‘You don’t need any coach because you play with confidence, you know exactly where your teammate [is].’ When that happens, I say my job is over.”
Torrent was quick to point out he was joking, but his team’s current form is no laughing matter. While NYCFC didn’t make up any ground in the East following Saturday night’s stirring victory, no team enters Week 18 having played fewer games in MLS (15).
Although the Cityzens currently sit in sixth in the Eastern Conference standings, six points off the pace set by the Union, NYCFC’s 1.73 points per game is best in the East and second only behind LAFC’s 2.18.
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“Maybe we are in the best form at the moment,” Torrent said. “It was not easy because everyone knows we lost just one game. It’s really important in MLS because MLS is a balanced league. It’s very important for the confidence.”
Torrent deflected all praise onto his players, but he also appears to be making all the right moves. His switch in the second half against the Union to a 4-2-3-1 gave the club the numerical advantage in the center of midfield and gave wingers the space needed to make plays.
“I say in the first half, ‘Calm down, don’t lose control,’” Torrent said. “We changed the shape, the system. We played 4-2-3-1, they defend inside and I prefer our wingers play wide because they have more quality to play.”
Now, Torrent said, he’s able to change formations instead of sticking to one system, like the 3-4-3 that ignited their current run of form. He’s able to adjust based players’ form, citing the 4-3-3 he utilized against FC Cincinnati that allowed Valentin Castellanos, Heber, Alexandru Mitrita, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Maxi Moralez all on the field at the same time.
Now the question shifts to such: Can this run continue?
Fresh off an emotional Cascadia Cup win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Seattle Sounders come to Yankee Stadium on Wednesday (7 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, on DAZN in Canada), followed by a home game against the Portland Timbers next Sunday. A U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal clash at Orlando City SC and the first New York Derby match of the season against the New York Red Bulls are also on the horizon.
“When I say the soccer belongs to the players, it’s about that,” Torrent said. “They are able to come back, not me. And the reason why because they play they play with confidence. We are in the good moment right now. That doesn't mean we will win the next game, but we will try to win and we will try to win again."