By CARL SETTERLUND
It was a busy day for New York City FC coach Jason Kreis, as he took part in the Expansion Priority Draft, giving a window into future plans for NYCFC.
In talking to the media afterward, Kreis said that gaining the number one spot in the Allocation Ranking was always the club’s primary objective.
“We put together a list of what we thought was most important and least important and for us allocation was the number one selection,” Kreis said.
Kreis declined to discuss specific targets, but said NYCFC plans to make use of the allocation spot, whereas another option would have been to use it as trade fodder.
“We know of some players that have some interest in coming to the league that would fit this bill, so of course we’re looking pretty intently amongst all the avenues to gain players,” the veteran MLS coach said. “In particular, we felt that was probably the highest way of acquiring players on our list, so we were happy to get that one and unfortunately I messed up the next (pick).”
Kreis was referring to his next selection after that, when he accidentally chose from the bottom of his list and took the 20th position in the Discovery Ranking over the USL PRO/NASL Player Priority Ranking, which Orlando City coach Adrian Heath chose with the following pick.
“There (were) really three things that were more set higher and were much more important than the other five,” Kreis said, brushing off the minor gaffe.
Kreis also addressed the status of his two Designated Players, Frank Lampard and David Villa.
After a strong recent showing with Manchester City — which shares the same ownership group as NYCFC — there had been rumblings that Lampard might extend his loan stay in England.
“I would say that there’s no truth to that rumor at all,” Kreis clarified.
Kreis also confirmed that the 32-year-old Spanish legend Villa would soon be outgoing to Melbourne City of the Australian A-League for a loan deal of his own.
“He is set to go over to Australia I believe the first week of October and start up down there for at least a month,” said Kreis, adding that Villa has looked fit in training. “That date is already predetermined and he’s ready to be rolling for that. He’s training here in New York City.”
Although Kreis said the Allocation Ranking was more important to NYCFC than the first pick in December’s MLS Expansion Draft, he remained optimistic of the club’s potential haul there.
Kreis call the expansion draft “a very strong pool of players to be fishing in.”
“I personally think there’s quite a few players in the league that may not be able to contribute on a week in, week out basis for their teams, but could certainly add to the strength and depth and even starting lineups for a few teams like ourselves,” the coach added.
Falling third on his list was the top pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
“Just looking at five years ago the players that were in the college draft and the contributions that they made in the MLS teams in their first year and the their second year I think the number was quite a bit higher,” Kreis said. “Now we have developmental academies run by all of our clubs, so what we’re seeing right now in the college games is we’re seeing some talented players, certainly, but the majority, or a high number of them at the very least are already connected with other clubs and so it becomes a lot more difficult to find players that aren’t already Homegrown status.”