Dome Torrent will not rotate despite congested New York City FC schedule
Following a successful trip to the Pacific Northwest, New York City FC is bracing for a home stand that includes three matches in a seven-day period, beginning with the resurgent New England Revolution this Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
The final seven regular-season matches for City are scheduled in less than a month, an arduous conclusion to the campaign, and include games against their two primary foes for first place in the Eastern Conference.
Despite the physical and emotional demands of the fixtures, NYCFC coach Dome Torrent said he will not be searching for the perfect player-rotation formula.
“My experience about that is in the last two months you have to play with the best players,” Torrent told Pro Soccer USA before the 3-1 victory at Vancouver Saturday. “Every single moment.”
In previous periods when City played multiple matches in a condensed time frame, Torrent sought to provide rest for regulars such as Maxi Moralez, Hebér, Anton Tinnerholm and Alex Ring.
Barring injury, suspension or international call-ups, Torrent said he will field his best XI the remainder of the season.
“My experience in the last 11 years with Pep [Guardiola] is you can rotate if a player has discomfort and you can rotate in the last four months,” Torrent said. “But not in the last two months.”
Torrent, who was Guardiola’s lieutenant at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City before his assignment in the Bronx, said the importance of finishing at the top of the table is also a factor.
“Especially with the change in the playoff system,” he said. “It’s very important for us to finish in the first position or the second position and you have a knockout game. It’s very important to play at home.”
All playoff matches this season are single-elimination with the highest seed earning the home-field advantage.
The Pigeons have lost just one of their 13 home matches and are currently second in the Eastern Conference (50 points). They will host third-place Atlanta United (48 points) Sept. 25 and close the regular season Oct. 6 at the first-place Philadelphia Union (51 points).
At the moment, City has two games in hand on the Union and controls its fortune to win the conference for the first time with an East-leading 1.85 points per game.
“It’s not easy, we have many, many good teams to play,” Torrent said. “Right now, it’s important that we get three points against New England.”