By Michael Lewis Editor

PURCHASE, N.Y. — While his team still has a chance mathematically to overcome Toronto FC and win the Eastern Conference crown, Patrick Vieira doubled down on his recent comments. He still thinks the Canadian side will prevail.

On Sunday, Vieira conceded that Toronto FC would win the conference title, though New York City FC is within striking distance. He did not change his mind Wednesday as he further explained his reasoning.

“Of course, mathematically, it is not over,” Vieira said after training at SUNY-Purchase. “You always have a chance.”

But …

“After you have to look at the way they have been playing, you have to look at the roster and you have to look at the games left for them,” he said. “And I don’t see them losing games. So I expect them to win the conference.”

With nine games remaining in the regular season, NYCFC (14-7-4, 46 points) trails Toronto FC (14-3-8, 50) by only four points.

If Toronto continues at its current pace, it will win the Supporters Shield as well.

After City defeated the New England Revolution Sunday night, 2-1, Vieira made a bold statement.

“It was good to win, because I believe that it’s always good to get close to Toronto, but I believe that Toronto is already the champions,” Vieira said. “The other teams, we’re going to fight for the second spot. Toronto will win the league because they are really strong and I don’t think anyone will catch them.”