New York City FC head coach Domènec Torrent isn’t worried about winning the Supporters’ Shield — the trophy given to the best team in the MLS regular season. He’s focused on making the playoffs and, essentially, winning the MLS Cup.
NYCFC’s one win in their last four matches, following their 2-0 loss at the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, makes the Supporters’ Shield look more like a lofty goal than an expectation. But if NYCFC is to make one more push for that title, they’ll need to snap out of their funk in Wednesday’s Hudson River Derby match against the visiting New York Red Bulls in the Bronx.
“You can ask the other supporters if they prefer to win the MLS or the regular season,” Torrent said to the media after Monday’s training session. “Of course, if you try to win the MLS, you will try to finish in the top of the league, it is our job. The most important for us is to try to win the MLS. After that, we will try to win the regular season, of course why not. But remember, the most important thing is to win the MLS.”
NYCFC (14-6-5, 47 points) find themselves just one point behind the cross-river rival Red Bulls (15-6-3, 48 points) for second place in the East, as well as for the Shield. Both teams are still trying to catch up to MLS-leading Atlanta United.
The Blues specifically need to step up their game in the second half. They played a strong first half in Philadelphia, missing on a few chances before surrendering two scores in the 57th and 76th minutes.
“I think it’s kind of a drop in intensity, which we’re going to have to look at each other on the field and just figure it out and push through it,” NYCFC defender Sebastien Ibeagha said. “It’s on us, not on Domè, to push each other and get through the situation.
“We’re playing at Yankee Stadium where we haven’t lost yet. It’s one of those games that kind of set us up for the last quarter of the season push, and I think everyone’s excited for it.”