2015 MLS season preview: New York City FC
- Entering their first-ever season as a club
- Will play home games at Yankee Stadium
- City Football Group own 75 percent, NY Yankees own 25 percent
Key Player: David Villa
The former Spanish international striker will captain New York City FC for their first-ever season as a club and has been influential in the formation of this squad. The former Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid forward has already scored some stunning goals in preseason and at the age of 33 he still has plenty left in the tank.
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Similar to the LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane in terms of his style of play, but having played at a much higher level in Europe as he won Champions League and La Liga titles, plus European Championships and World Cups for Spain, Villa oozes experience and class. Every player at NYCFC looks up to him and he will set the tone.
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Other names to watch: Frank Lampard (from June onwards), Mix Diskerud, Sebastian Velazquez
Demands for tickets have soared in recent weeks, as the Big Apple’s MLS team prepares for their home debut.
Manager: Jason Kreis
One of the most talented coaches in recent MLS history has been out of action for over a year as he took a step back and built this NYCFC squad from scratch. Spending time with the coaching staff of their sister club Manchester City and also time in Barcelona, Kreis told me in a recent sitdown interview that he plans to bring an attractive style to NYCFC, similar to what was prevalent during his time at RSL. Kreis has been given all of the tools to succeed in New York with guys like Villa, Lampard and Diskerud going to be key to his plans of having a successful first-season in MLS.
[ RELATED: Q&A with Jason Kreis ]
He knows there will be bumps along the way, but the man who led RSL to an MLS Cup title and deep runs in the CONCACAF Champions League has big plans for NYCFC as he aims to have instance success in Manhattan. One of the brightest coaches in U.S. soccer circles, Kreis is recharged, rejuvenated and ready to lead his squad in what will be a historic first campaign as a club.
“I don’t think I would surprise anybody to say ‘yeah, we are going to play a very similar style to the one we played at RSL in the past seven years.” - Kreis on how NYCFC will play
Outlook for 2015
First things first, most MLS expansion franchises just want to be competitive and somehow scrape into the playoffs during their first season. Not NYCFC. With big-name DPs and a top quality coach having assembled a talented squad chocked full of MLS veterans and young talent, expect NYCFC to make a real splash in the Eastern conference during their inaugural season. Reaching the playoffs will be a great achievement, but Kreis and Co. have even bigger targets in mind.