New York City FC

Ronny Deila thinks NYCFC's Playoff win vs Atlanta can be blueprint against NE Revs

Chris Smith
After beating Atlanta United, NYCFC must now travel to Supporters' Shield winners New England Revolution.
After beating Atlanta United, NYCFC must now travel to Supporters' Shield winners New England Revolution. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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New York City FC manager Ronny Deila believes the 2-0 win over Atlanta United on Sunday has them well prepared for their upcoming trip to face the New England Revolution.

The Cityzens put a tough opening 45 minutes behind them with two quick goals from Taty Castellanos and Alexander Callens just after the break, securing safe passage through Round One of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

"In the first half, we needed to switch the play more, get higher, overload, and get players inside of the box. That is exactly what we did in the second half," Deila said of his side's post-half-time improvement.

"They had trouble with stopping us and the whole performance was a high-level game. Atlanta has so much quality on their team and play very good football. Atlanta is always a very difficult side to play against. Big, big credit to the team today."

NYCFC now have the unenviable task of traveling to Gillette Stadium for the Eastern Conference semi-final match. There, they'll face a Revs side that won the Supporters' Shield with a record points total, while scoring more goals than any other team in MLS through the regular season (65).

But Deila is surprisingly optimistic in his outlook, believing the Revs will be a test similar in stature to Atlanta United, with the only key difference being his side will have to win on the road, rather than at Yankee Stadium.

"The same plans as today. It is not any more difficult than it was today," the Norwegian said of the upcoming clash.

"The only difference is that it will be away. Atlanta is a top, top team, and how they play now shows why they haven't lost many games. They were a big, big test today so if we can replicate what we did today, we have a good chance to win in New England as well."

Callens, whose exuberant celebrations following his goal to make it 2-0 will likely become the defining image of Sunday's game, backed up his manager. The Peru international center-back believes he and his teammates can draw plenty of confidence from their Round One win and that a repeat performance would be enough to also eliminate the Revs.

"We have to start thinking about New England," Callens told reporters. "We know they are a great team; they won the Supporters' Shield. We have some time to prepare, and I think this victory gives us [the] confidence to believe and know we can achieve a lot of things by doing what we did today.”

In 19 previous meetings between the two sides, the Revs hold a 9-6 lead over NYCFC, with the other four matches ending in a draw. New England lead 2-1 in the 2021 series.

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