Anton Tinnerholm and his teammates will be rooting for and against some MLS team. ( Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
That’s what New York City FC is thinking about these days.
City (1-2-0, 3 points) still has a chance to reach the knockout round of the MLS Is Back Tournament, but will need some help from some enemies in the following days.
It needs three teams – FC Cincinnati, D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo – essentially to lose their final three group-stage games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla. to ensure its advancement to the Round of 16.
The top four third-place teams will move on as wildcard sides. After Monday morning’s match, NYCFC sits in third place among the six third-place sides, having played all of its three group matches.
Here are the standings:
1. Sporting Kansas City (1-1-0, 4, GD 0, GF 4)
2. Chicago Fire (1-2-0, 4, GD 0, GF 2)
3. NYCFC (1-2-0, 3, GD -2, GF 2)
4. FC Cincinnati (1-1-0, 3, GD -3, GF 1)
5. D.C. United (0-0-2, 2, GD 0, GF 3)
6. Houston Dynamo (0-1-1, 1, GD -1, GF 4)
The following procedure (in order of priority) will be used to determine which teams advance: 1. Total number of points, 2. Goal differential, 3. Goals for, 4. Fewest disciplinary points.
FC Cincinnati takes on the Red Bulls at 8 p.m. Wednesday, D.C. United meets Monday on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. and Houston face the LA Galaxy Thursday at 8 p.m.
So, it is quite likely NYCFC probably won’t know its fate until Thursday at around 10 p.m.
The knockout round starts on July 25.