RJ Allen: “Hopefully we can squeeze one here this weekend and they can drop a game.” (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
BRONX, N.Y. — Head coach Patrick Vieira might have conceded the Supporters Shield and Eastern Conference crown to Toronto FC, but tell that to his players.
They think City still can catch the Reds, who own a six-point lead with eight games remaining in the season.
“Absolutely. We’re what, six points out now even on games,” NYCFC defender RJ Allen said after the 1-0 home victory over Sporting Kansas City Wednesday night. “Hopefully we can squeeze one here this weekend and they can drop a game.”
Toronto, which hasn’t lost since July 1, enters the weekend action with a 16-3-8 mark and 56 points as NYCFC is at 15-7-5 and 50 points.
If NYCFC defeats the Portland Timbers at Yankee Stadium Saturday, the team will set a team record for most wins in the season (Toronto hosts the San Jose Earthquakes).
“We still have two trophies in front of us,” forward Sean Okoli said. “That’s what we work every day for, but we also know we have to take it one game at a time, one training session at a time. As long as we take care of what’s in front of us, I think we’ll be ok.”
NYCFC will have to keep on plugging away and see what transpires.
“I think anything is possible,” forward Jack Harrison said. “We just want to get as many points as we can going into the end of the season and we’ll go from there.”
Added goalkeeper Sean Johnson: “We are not really honestly too focused about the Supporters Shield race. If we take care of business and do what we have to do for the next seven games it will put ourselves in a good position come the end of the year.”