Sean Johnson: “Sometimes, you need a little bit of luck elsewhere, if you will. That result was great for us and we’ll take it as a win.” (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — When New York City FC left the field at Foxborough Stadium, the players were a disappointed bunch Sunday night.
After all, they felt rather down after a missed opportunity on clinching the MLS Eastern Conference title as they went down to a 2-0 loss to the New England Revolution. City needed at least a draw to secure its first conference crown in its five-year history.
“A little disappointed not to just do it ourselves and get the three points here,” defender Sebastien Ibeagha said. “I mean, the goal was still the same no matter how we get it.”
About an hour later, they were in a much better mood. In fact, they were elated, as Columbus Crew SC stunned the Philadelphia Union, 2-0, boosting City to its goal.
“We obviously came off of the field pissed off, you know; like you said, a missed opportunity, a missed chance, and just take it for ourselves and keep it going,” Ibeagha said. “But, you know, we came in here, started watching the [other] games. 0-0 at the time in the 55th [minute], and we just kind of watched it the whole time.
“Columbus scored, we were like, ‘okay, this could actually happen.’ Then, they scored another one, and we were all really ecstatic and they could hold that until the end of the game.”
The result meant NYCFC will get a first-round bye in the MLS Cup Playoffs, home-field advantage throughout the conference bracket and an opportunity to participate in the 2020 Concacaf Champions League.
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson said he would take it, although ut was “bit of a rollercoaster,” ride.
“We’re a team of competitors,” he added. “The result tonight here in New England was disappointing. Walking off the pitch, we were pretty upset with the result. In an important game we needed just a point and we came up a bit short. Then, obviously not knowing what happened in the other games and never being in the position where you have everything in your control, you don’t want to leave it up to another result or something out of your control.
“Sometimes, you need a little bit of luck elsewhere, if you will. That result was great for us and we’ll take it as a win. Eastern Conference champions and [Concacaf] Champions League as well is something to be happy about.”