New York City FC player - November 6, 2016
Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

NYCFC fall at the Eastern Conference Semifinal stage for the fourth straight postseason

New York City FC have qualified for the postseason in each of the last four MLS seasons.

They've been eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in each of those four postseasons.

NYCFC came into the 2019 edition of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference after registering the best regular season in club history. But they were ousted at home 2-1 by Toronto FC on a last-minute penalty kick.

Although at one point NYCFC looked like the most likely team to win the match against Toronto, the Cityzens ended their 2019 season with a similar feeling of disappointment.

2016: 7-0

NYCFC took to the road for the first playoff match in club history, but their trip to BMO Field in Toronto didn't end well. They got their Eastern Conference Semifinal series off on the wrong foot with a 2-0 blanking at the hands of the Reds with Jozy Altidore and Tosaint Ricketts scoring late goals.

Then Toronto poured it on at Yankee Stadium for the second leg, winning by a rotund 5-0 scoreline (hat trick by Sebastian Giovinco) in one of the most lopsided playoff series in MLS history.

2017: Stunned by Columbus

No. 2 seed NYCFC were the favorites against No. 5 seed Columbus Crew SC ahead of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series, but they were stunned in the opening leg in Columbus 4-1, giving them a mountain to climb at Yankee Stadium.

They almost did it. NYCFC won 2-0 in the second leg, but they couldn't add one final goal that would've allowed them to advance on the away goals tiebreaker. They were bounced again 4-3 on aggregate.

2018: Atlanta unstoppable

After overcoming Philadelphia in a Knockout Round match, NYCFC opened a two-leg Eastern Conference Semifinal series against Atlanta United at home, but they promptly dropped the opening match 1-0 at Yankee Stadium. Then Atlanta buried the Cityzens 3-1 in the second leg at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, knocking them out 4-1 on aggregate.

Atlanta would go on to win 2018 MLS Cup.

2019: NYCFC gift win to Toronto

This was the best NYCFC their fans had ever seen, but they didn't play like it at Citi Field in Queens.

They went down a goal to visiting Toronto after an errant backward header by NYCFC center back Maxime Chanot was intercepted for a goal. And then near the end of the match, another NYCFC defender, Ronald Matarrita, made a reckless tackle in the box to give Toronto the penalty they would use to advance 2-1.