NYCFC Season 2 – Hopes and Dreams
Tomorrow marks the beginning of New York City FC’s second season in the MLS. After a rocky inaugural season, NYCFC have began this year with a decent looking preseason. Amidst all the roster changes and managerial upgrades, here are my thoughts on what to expect from NYCFC in the 2016 MLS Season.
#1 Priority – DEFENSE
There’s no getting around the fact that NYCFC’s defense sucked last season. The only reason Josh Saunders was able to lead the league in saves was because NYC led the league in shots on goal against. Not a stat to be proud of (Josh, we couldn’t have done it without you. We love you).
That being said, this year hopes to tell a different story. With recent defensive additions like Frederic Brillant, Diego Martinez, Ronald Matarrita, and Ethan White, NYCFC should (and I mean SHOULD) have a deeper defensive bench and more talent to work with. Again, we saw some defensive stability in the preseason matches that hopefully will carry into the regular season.
#2 – Possession & The Midfield
Time and time again, the NYCFC midfield of 2015 had, what seemed to be, more complete passes to the opposing team than to its own teammates. Leading to quick snaps by the opposition towards our already shoddy defense. Hence, 17 losses. UGH.
Last year aside, the preseason showed us what could be a glimmer of hope in the NYCFC possession statistics. We saw a midfield that knew how to hold on to the ball, and more importantly create some chances! I hope to see a quality and depth in midfield. And MOST importantly, POKU! We want POKU! Pay attention Patrick.
#3 – More Than David Villa
David Villa was NYCFC’s shining star when it came to scoring goals for the club. Placing 4th in the league with 18 goals scored, Villa should continue to shine.
HOWEVER, we need more bodies in the box moving forward. Too many chances last year were squandered, or better yet, not even called chances, due to lack of men in the box. It’s amazing that Villa scored as much as he did being the lone striker for a vast majority of the season.
Patrick Vieira seems to love the 4-3-3, however, which lends itself to creating more chances, moving more bodies forward, and finishing much more frequently. Did I mention POKU?
At the end of the day, NYCFC needs to score more to win more, period.
The 2016 MLS season is upon us friends, and soon we’ll see if our 2nd year NYCFC is ready for the challenge. With the help of Vieira and a youthful new lineup, this season may prove to be a defining season for the club. I know we’re looking forward to watching as this exciting season rolls on, and rest assured, the Dudes in Blue will be here through it all.
My final thought on the 2016 New York City FC Season – POKU!