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New York City FC under pressure entering regular-season finale against Philadelphia

NYCFC controls its own destiny in its effort to lock up the No. 3 seed in the East for the MLS playoffs.

Anton Tinnerholm leads NYCFC defenders with four goals

Anton Tinnerholm leads NYCFC defenders with four goals and six assists this season. Photo Credit: NYCFC

If the saying “pressure creates diamonds” holds true, then New York City FC is in a prime position for an MLS Cup run entering Sunday afternoon’s regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Union.

Although they’ve already clinched their spot in the postseason, home field in the knockout round isn’t guaranteed just yet. NYCFC needs to snap out of a 10-game funk they've suffered through since mid-August. With just two wins in the last 10 matches, a win on Sunday isn’t a sure thing.

“We have to look at ourselves and have to step up a few steps to reach the best teams in the league, and it starts on Sunday,” defender Anton Tinnerholm told reporters at Thursday's practice.

A win or draw on Sunday would lock up the third seed in the East for the Blues, setting them up to host potential sixth seeds the Columbus Crew, Montreal Impact or D.C. United in the knockout round.

However, if NYCFC loses at Yankee Stadium this weekend, they could fall to fourth if D.C. loses or draws at the Chicago Fire or fifth if D.C. beats Chicago, sending them to D.C. for the knockout match. D.C. could fall to sixth with a loss and a Columbus win.

“We’re in a good position and now is the time where it matters most and we need to show it,” Tinnerholm said. “We’ve been fighting the whole season for the coming days.”

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