photo by Ben Queenborough/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
New York City FC’s brass addressed a recent report on Monday. They also refused to discuss another.
NYCFC officials spoke to media members via a conference call on Monday afternoon to discuss Spanish striker David Villa becoming the club’s first player, but they were also faced with questions regarding two topics that grabbed headlines in recent days.
The first subject to come up was Frank Lampard’s rumored impending arrival to the MLS expansion club, which is set to begin play in 2015. Lampard was linked with a move to NYCFC over the past weekend and is set to leave Chelsea this summer, but NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna declined to reveal whether his club has been in talks with the English midfielder.
“There’s no comment on Frank Lampard,” said Reyna. “We want talk about David Villa on this call today.”
NYCFC did confirm last week’s reported news that they will not be training at Manhattanville College, as had been previously announced. A small group of locals has filed a lawsuit against the college over its plans to house NYCFC and undergo renovations, and the timeframe that it would take to sort that out has left NYCFC looking for a different place to train at.
“The report is true,” said NYCFC chief business officer Tim Pernetti. “We went through a pretty comprehensive and extremely transparent public process with Manhattanville and the township. We were really pleased to have the project approved by the town’s appointed planning board, the college definitely was excited about the improvements and would’ve afforded them the state-of-the-art facility.
“But unfortunately there’s a small group up there pursuing a legal action against the college and we’re up against a very tight timeline and our priority is always going to be to put a practice facility in place in a timely manner that’s of the standards we expect for our first team and for our club. Because of the timing, we’re pursuing some different options and we’re currently in the midst of that process.”
Pernetti did not go into detail as to what other sites are being looked at as potential places for a training facility, but he added that this latest setback was not discouraging the club.
“We made pretty clear that when we got into this we expected challenges in New York City and depending on what we’re working on, there are going to be those challenges,” said Pernetti. “At the same time, there’s an equal number of opportunities for every challenge we face. We’re going to find the right place for our club to train. It’s going to be the right situation and it’s also going to be a place where we’re valued and wanted to be.”
What do you make of this news? Hoping Lampard signs with NYCFC this summer? What location would you like to see the club choose for its training facility?
Share your thoughts below.