The disappointing 2023 season for New York City FC is now in the past. The reminder and sadness of missing the playoffs continue to float amongst the fan base. Many thought the club failed to create a team capable of competing for a top spot in the Eastern Conference. Then, Nick Cushing did not do enough as the head coach. There was the hope that he would not be back in 2024, but that was not the case.
So, heading into the new season, there is some hope this will be a better year. It will also be the tenth season of play, so failure is not an option for NYCFC. Thankfully, the improvement, although too late, at the end of the previous year, and the new signings made for the upcoming campaign, are inserting a little bit of positivity.
There is still uncertainty about whether the players will rebound and be more competitive. Anything can happen in the beautiful game, making it difficult to predict the season's outcomes.
That does not stop one from trying. Here are three predictions for NYCFC’s tenth Major League Soccer season in 2024.
3. NYCFC will finish anywhere from 5th to 8th place
NYCFC was not expected to miss the playoffs in 2023. The season was not expected to be one of their best, but with their roster, it was thought the players were good enough to finish in a playoff spot. Alas, that was not the case following the 11th-place finish, and despite nine teams in each conference making the postseason.
This year, it is predicted the Pigeons will make the playoffs with the expanded MLS playoffs. The team will finish anywhere from 5th to 8th place. The roster the team is building continues to become stronger. Then, there is the idea the team will finish a little lower in the case Nick Cushing continues to struggle as the head coach.
It is difficult to see NYCFC finishing in the top four of the Eastern Conference with the Englishman as the head coach. The roster continues to improve after the permanent acquisition of Andrés Perea and the signing of Agustín Ojeda. Rumors of other players joining the Queens’ side continue to grow. Yet, based on his poor record and failures after a year and a half, there is doubt Cushing can properly lead the team.
At the same time, the roster-building will aid with NYCFC finishing in a playoff spot. The attack is also getting stronger. It could become a weekly question with which players should start up front. That is a good problem to have, for that was not a problem back in 2023. Plus, it expands the talent on the bench, which was lacking the previous season.
Of course, anything can happen, and Cushing can surprise the fans by becoming a solid and reliable head coach. Perhaps the inability to score last year will be fixed, and NYCFC will compete. In the end, that depends on him and whether the new signings can make a difference.