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NYCFC braces for summer arrivals to help bolster roster


Photo by Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports


NEW YORK — In what has been a bit of a roller coaster season for New York City FC thus far there have been more lows than highs for the expansion club up until this point.

The team, after its latest 3-1 loss to crosstown rivals New York Red Bulls, currently possesses just 17 points through 17 contests on the season and sits in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

However, the cavalry is on the way to perhaps help this club climb out of its current predicament.

Frank Lampard, for one, will officially begin his tenure with NYCFC beginning July 1 and is expected to train with his newest club this week.

“Obviously, it’s big for us,” NYCFC midfielder Mix Diskerud said on Lampard impending participation. “He’s a legendary player and he will add a lot to the club. I’m definitely excited to train with him and I’m sure I can learn a lot from him.”

“[Lampard’s] resume and what he has done in soccer speaks for itself,” added midfielder Tommy McNamara, “and to have someone so experienced with a lot of leadership qualities would make a very positive addition to our squad, not to mention his talent.”

Apart from Lampard, a pair of Spanish defenders in Jose Angel Tasende and Andoni Iraola will also be eligible for selection beginning July 8 to beef up what has been an inconsistent NYCFC defense so far this season.

Tasende was acquired on loan two weeks ago from Manchester City, where the 18-year-old Spanish youth international impressed NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis and was quoted to have a “fighting mentality that you want to see in a young professional” by Kreis in the press release.

Iraola, meanwhile, is coming off a successful and lengthy career with Athletic Bilbao. The 32-year-old right back made 510 appearances (406 league) with 38 goals for Bilbao over the past 12 seasons and also earned seven caps for the Spain national team from 2008-11.

“We’ve said all along that we were going to be looking to improve this team in the summer,” Kreis reiterated on Sunday. “I think we are going to do that, so I’m excited about that.”

However, while the three mentioned above are sure to join the club in the coming days, it is the potential arrival of Italian legend Andrea Pirlo that has everyone buzzing for weeks.

The swirling rumors about Pirlo’s possible signing with NYCFC only appeared to inch closer to facts when Pirlo was shown on the Yankee Stadium jumbotron along with Lampard during Sunday’s game, promptly drawing “We want Pirlo” chants from those in attendance.

Team personnel, including Kreis and the players, have played coy in responding to Pirlo questions for weeks, but should the 36-year-old superstar don the sky blue in the near future, it would not only give NYCFC one of the more competitive lineups in the league, but also the most expensive payroll in MLS history.

Until all things are made official, however, all there is for NYCFC to do is to play the hypotheticals.

“Is he coming?” McNamara jested with the media when asked about Pirlo on Sunday. “I mean, I guess if he was to come, once again, another very talented player and it’s exciting, but we’ll wait to see whether it really happens or not.”


  1. Well, Pirlo could be the next Schelotto in MLS, or he could be the next Claudio Reyna – it all depends on how much support they put around him. Schelotto had an all-star lineup around him in Columbus in 08-09. Reyna had crap on a stick. You gotta have someone to get on the end of your passes, and you gotta have someone to do the defensive dirty work that he’s not going to do.

  2. DP? Wha? Never heard of it.
    Hey MLS fans, love your parity! Small markets get screwed, big markets do whatever they want and nobody loses money. Well except the ones buying tix.
    Ooooh, oh yeah, and we get second rate soccer to boot! Way to go MLS!

  3. Panda is right….Mattheus was a dick and only here for the cash. Pirlo is a remarkable talent and aside from Beckham, will be the highest quality player MLS has seen in terms of passing accuracy and free kick placement. He will be an excellent signing and worth every penny. I really think NYCFC is gonna fly up the standings, make the playoffs, and finish as a top 5 team. Average attendance will probably be top 3.

  4. You need a tough-ass defensive midfielder.
    Roy Keane meets Gattuso

    An absolute gargoyle who makes Kimbo Slice look bi-curious

  5. While I am a big fan of Pirlo’s I think NYCFC should look at the history of successful / unsuccessful signings of the Red Bulls. Lothar Matthis comes to mind. I do not think Pirlo’s age, game will reflect very well in the physical MLS, especially in the band box of Yankee Stadium. While I like the idea of signing Pirlo I think there are too many reasons for him to fail in MLS, specifically on NYCFC.

    • Matthaeus was a bust, but not bc of the physicality of MLS. He just didn’t give a s$&t.
      Pirlo could be successful just like Valderrama was.

      • That dude was basically stealing money with both hands. Couldn’t even pretend to give a crap.

        He was sooooo good in Europe, though

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