Being drawn into Group A, the lone group at the MLS is Back Tournament that has more than four teams, NYCFC will have a unique experience to an already unprecedented event.
The tournament represents MLS's return to play after what will be nearly four months off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the group of six, NYCFC won't play all five of their group opponents and creates more competition at the top of the group. The top two advance to the knockout round with the third place team having a chance to move on as well, pending other groups.
It may not be ideal, but NYCFC aren't looking for excuses. They're ready to pounce.
"For me, you don't look to complain about the type of draw you get or being at disadvantage against anyone," goalkeeper Sean Johnson told reporters on a video conference call. "Every team we play we try to win and be dominant. I don't think there's going to be any chatter about the draw being a disadvantage."
One problem facing all clubs is how to best attack the group stage, which counts towards the regular season standings. Outside of the simplistic mantra of winning every game, minutes will have to be balanced and points will be at stake that may decide playoff future later in the campaign.
"It's going to be difficult to juggle both and strategize, if you will," Johnson said. "The reality is it's a tournament at the end of the day, all games count. That's the important thing."
NYCFC have returned to full training this week, at the New York Red Bulls' facility in New Jersey as New York state guidelines still prohibit full-team sessions at their own training ground. It's the first time the group is fully back together in three months.
The sessions have been typical for players returning from a long break of regular play, like coming back for preseason ahead of a new campaign. NYCFC have been able to hit the ground running thanks to general fitness levels throughout the squad.
"There's been rust, which was to be expected," Johnson said. "But our team did a fantastic job of staying in shape. Everybody committed themselves to staying in a certain condition that allowed us to pick up at a point where we're further along than I think a lot of teams will be at this point in time."
Altre notizie - Focus
- 23:14 New York City FC dismantled: it will be a tough season
- 22:57 City Football Group adds Bolivia's Club Bolivar as partner club
- 21:54 After Gomez even Ribery has been linked to NYCFC
- 16:31 NYCFC's Joe Scally makes move to Borussia Monchengladbach
- 22:02 Messi to MLS: bought a family apartment in Miami
- 20:00 Almeyda: "MLS wolud be the right league for Messi"
- 19:00 Papu Gomez linked to New York City FC
- 18:25 NYCFC, 2020 is a year of bitterness for fans
- 18:30 New York City FC, team weakened on the pitch and in the locker room
- 18:00 NYCFC's Alexandru Mitrita scores again in loan stint with Saudi Arabia's Al-Ahli
- 17:01 Austin FC sign former NYCFC goalkeeper Brad Stuver
- 22:48 Messi: "I always had the illusion of living in the US"
- 15:00 David Beckham tries to convince Messi to play for Inter Miami
- 14:00 New York City FC option for the future of Leo Messi
- 23:30 Keaton Parks Named NYCFC’s Young Player of the Year for 2020
- 23:00 Sean Johnson Named NYCFC’s Defensive Player of the Year for 2020
- 23:42 Austin FC, Reyna: "Ring will be a great addition to our club"
- 23:32 New York City FC, the Ring trade is a non sense choice
- 21:15 Sean Johnson out for Concacaf Champions League match against Tigres
- 21:07 Tigres UANL vs. NYCFC - Taty Castellanos Preview
- 21:05 Tigres UANL vs. NYCFC - Ronny Deila Preview
- 22:13 Orlando City Goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar Loaned to NYCFC
- 22:12 New York City FC Announces Travel Plans for the Resumption of 2020 Concacaf Champions League
- 23:00 Stuver's emotional message after leaving NYCFC
- 22:39 NYCFC, Surgery for Alex Ring
- 17:36 NYCFC, exercise options for 5 players. Brad Stuver leaves NY
- 22:15 Sean Johnson: "Thanks to all the supporters who stuck with us through this challenging year"
- 21:51 New York City FC, Tinnerholm expressed his feelings
- 23:47 New York City FC, need to grow mentally and be more concrete
- 23:38 NYCFC, former intern describes sexual harassment allegations against David Villa
- 18:00 Tinnerholm: "It is brutal to lose this way"
- 17:00 Parks: "We deserved the victory"
- 16:00 Ronny Deila: "I'm devasteted"
- 15:30 New York City FC defeated: team without personality
- 15:00 NEW POLL - Orlando City 6 - 5 New York City FC: is it the worst defeat in the history of the Blues?
- 14:00 Orlando City (6) 1-1 (5) NYCFC - Ronny Deila Reaction
- 00:01 What happened in the Orlando City vs. NYCFC penalty shootout? Here are the official explanations from PRO
- 23:33 Match Recap | Orlando City 1-1 NYCFC
- 22:30 Orlando 6 - 5 NYCFC: Orlando advanced New York returns home
- 16:32 Orlando City - NYCFC 1-1: PENALTIES LIVE ON (6-5) NOW IT'S OVER
- 16:00 Deila: "Orlando is a good team but..."
- 15:18 NYCFC, three players out against Orlando City
- 19:30 Deila: “We are ready for what’s coming"
- 18:30 Tinnerholm: "The season starts for real on Saturday for us"
- 17:30 Orlando City SC vs. NYCFC - Ronny Deila Preview - VIDEO