Despite beating the Chicago Fire on Decision Day, New York City FC will officially miss the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since their inaugural 2015 season due to results elsewhere not going their way.
NYCFC needed a win over Chicago Fire at Citi Field, plus a loss by the Red Bulls in Nashville and no better than a draw from Charlotte FC, who were playing at home against Lionel Messi and Inter Miami CF.
Instead, only the NYCFC win arrived, as Charlotte beat Miami and the Red Bulls beat Nashville on a last-gasp penalty kick, meaning New York City were officially knocked out on the season’s final day.
NYCFC rode their luck and avoided elimination at midweek when Inter Miami’s Robbie Robinson scored an 84th-minute equalizer to keep Charlotte from earning the three points.
Their luck did not continue through Decision Day, though it’s hard to feel too sorry for a New York City side that endured a 12-match winless run across all competitions from late April through June, and also has had a costly penchant for allowing stoppage-time equalizers that deprived them of vital wins and points.
Chances of NYCFC playoff qualification nearly evaporated at full time in Washington, D.C. two weeks back on October 7, with New York City’s 2-0 loss to DC United putting them firmly on elimination’s doorstep.
That elimination didn’t arrive until the final day, as none of the teams bunched together toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference seemed capable of reaching out and grabbing control of their own playoff destinies. The playoff door stayed open for Nick Cushing’s team far longer than it should have, but they were never able to walk through it.
For NYCFC, it’s now officially time look ahead to the long MLS offseason. What kind of offseason is in store for New York City this winter? We previewed the offseason ahead and the big decisions that await the club now that the 2023 season is over.