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Andrea Pirlo officially joins NYCFC as Designated Player

AndreaPirloJuventus2-ALeagueAllStars2014 (Getty)


After weeks of rumors, speculation and even New York City appearances, Andrea Pirlo is officially a member of New York City FC.

NYCFC announced Monday that the club has signed the Italian legend, who spent the past four seasons with Serie A powerhouse Juventus. With the signing, Pirlo becomes the club’s third Designated Player, joining forward David Villa and Frank Lampard, who trained with the team last week.

The 36-year-old Pirlo will join NYCFC on July 21 and be available for selection immediately after that, meaning his first game could come at home against Orlando City five days later.

“I have been wanting this experience for a long time and now that the opportunity materialized I wanted to take it,” Pirlo said. “This is a club on the rise and shares my same hunger to achieve important results in the League. I am hoping to win.I had several opportunities to play outside of Italy, but I never had a doubt in picking New York for the enthusiasm of the people that come watch the team.

“I met with the coach, Jason Kreis, and he gave me a fantastic impression of the club. He has well defined ideas in mind, and I am sure we will get on well and create a good relationship to train well and try to win together.”

Pirlo joins NYCFC after spending the entirety of his career in Italy, featuring for AC Milan, Inter Milan, Regina and Brescia prior to joining Juventus in 2011. A 2006 World Cup winner, Pirlo has amassed six Serie A titles while collecting 700 club appearances and 115 caps for the Italian national team.

“We have said from the outset that the right player for the third DP slot was worth waiting for,” Kreis said. “Nobody could question that in Pirlo we are bringing one of the best in the world and one of the finest players to come to MLS.

“Like David Villa, his final game in Europe was the Champions League Final, which demonstrates a player competing at the highest level of our sport.”


  1. The core of this team gets an early bird special at the local diner.

    If Mix somehow gets the shaft because of this, that will be really unfortunate for him since he had offers in Europe that he turned down

  2. If you are a young guy on NYCFC take alot of notes because few get the opportunity to learn from the likes of Pirlo, Villa, and Lampard. These legends have a world of experience and knowledge!

  3. agree that the Red Bulls have to make some moves to stay on top of the market, results are ok for now, but who knows going further.

    and forget the cosmos, they will be left in the dust with MLS revenue growth and academies developing players, etc. – MLS is the future.

  4. Come on Red Bulls – we need a top signing!
    NY is red for now but NYC will be winning the marketing battle into the future.

    wonder why the world beater cosmos from long island didn’t sign him?…
    guess they don’t need him, oh wait, nasl was 0-7 against USL teams.

  5. Bringing in legends will indeed lift all teams. Lets face it, whether you think they are over the hill or not, who is not going to want to see the NYCFC midfield in action or LA’s attack with Dos Santos Keane and Gerard when they come visit your MLS team. Another great step forward for MLS.

  6. Lampard and Pirlo will get all the attention, although David Villa had a monster game this weekend, including a Pirlo-esque free kick goal. But don’t overlook Iraloa, the 32-year old back from Atletico Bilbao. That’s a huge quality upgrade also. NYCFC will be a good test for the overall quality of the league, although LA is in stunning form and they are about to add Gerrard any maybe Dos Santos. Rising tide, this MLS looks to be.

  7. While they are on the tail end of their careers, players like Pirlo, Lampard, Gerrard, Villa and others are amazing signings for MLS. Throw in guys like Giovinco Valeri, Maloney, Doyle, Barnes, and others who played regularly in top leagues and MLS is starting to become the league fans have hoped for. This is a long way from when there was Valderamma as maybe the only signature foreign player.

      • And Michael Bradley who played regularly for AS Roma. And Keane who was clearly not at the end of his career even though Tottenham thought so. And Dempsey. Oh, and Liam Ridgewell. I am sure I am missing some more

      • Oh Yea Obafemi Martins who scored 22 goals for Inter one year and played 4 years for them after 3 years with Newcastle before joining Seattle at age 29

    • I think the Villa signing is great and I agree with your general statements about MLS. I’d still prefer younger DPs (i.e. Villa is 32) than Lampard/Pirlo although those guys are clearly still light years better than the hacks currently running around the NYCFC midfield.

    • I agree MLS is moving, but there was never a time when Valderamma was the only foreign star. Roberto Donadoni actually went back to Serie A after MLS, he was still pretty much in his prime and remains one of the best ever CMs the league has had. Etcheverry was extremely good and Bolivia’s main player. Lionel Alvarez, a few years later Peter Nowak. Jaime Moreno, a huge player who played his entire career in MLS. Granted, the list isn’t that long, but any of these players would still be stars in today’s league.

  8. And now, if this supposed Core DP rule comes to light, NYCFC will add yet another quality player in the $1 million per year range. This is how u spend money in MLS. NYCFC to MLS Cup?

    • Montreal has terrible ownership and the city lacks the population size of NY.The Union still draw well even though they have terrible ownership and play in Chester. NYCFC plays in NY and have very good owners.

  9. I don’t mind expansion teams using celebrity signings to build a fan base.
    Well established teams shouldn’t be signing DPs over 32 unless they’re renewing.

    My hope is that City Jr’s massive resources will be used for scouting and development far beyond their peers rather than just signing famous names. It’s OK for now, though

    • Building a fan base? NYCFC already has that. NYCFC wanted a talented player & that is what they got.He signed a 18 month deal. It is a great short term deal, with no risk. Lampard, Pirlo,Iraola,Villa,Poku,Mix, Angelino, Mena,Mashamaite.Shelton,Facey,Tommy Mack & Patrick Mullins, is alot of talent on one roster.

      • Everyone sells tickets the first two years. Then it’s all too easy to become Montreal or Philly.

        The no-show empty seats are growing in Yankee Stadium. Lampard & Pirlo will fill them up. It’s a wise move

      • Who is everyone?please name them.NYCFC only a year old,already has a bigger fanbase then a good majority of MLS teams.

      • He DID mention Montreal

        Gotta admit their support fell off a cliff after the new car smell wore off

      • Montreal has terrible ownership and the city lacks the population size of NY.The Union still draw well even though they have terrible ownership and play in Chester. NYCFC plays in NY and have very good owners.

      • I take it his point is that in general, unless an expansion team does really well its first few seasons, the sales generally will regress to a mean and sometimes keep regression (i.e. MTL and PHI that he mentioned). He’s not disagreeing that getting Lampard and Pirlo were smart moves, just saying that initial fan bases can sometimes mislead.

  10. wait…….wait a minute…..wait a damn minute…….what the…? David Villa, Frank Lampard, Mix Diskerud and Andrea Pirlo? On one team? NOT FAIR!!!!!!
    Dear DC United please take note: yes we are winning, yes the soccer is not attractive but effect but …….please, please please bring in some world class designated players and make subscribing to MLS LIVE worthwhile!!!!!!
    Humble Fan Bizzy

    • + 1

      I can deal with watching ugly winning soccer, but with the class building all around us I get the feeling that I’ll be watching ugly losing soccer soon – that won’t do it for me.

      DCU FO – time to put some work in…now!!

  11. This is, obviously,…a great signing for NYCFC and MLS. Lampard and Pirlo are going to bring a lot to that midfield and most likely raise the level of Mix and Jacobson.

    That said,…I liked what Jesse Marsh did with Red Bulls at Columbus. Three young Red Bull players,….Miazga, Davis and Abang. Add the young and talented Lawrence to the mix and you have a nice group of young players supporting the core (Dax, Sam, BWP and Robles). (BTW – whither Leo Stoltz?) Anyway, they still have to start winning some games because it is only getting harder. NYC FC is on the rise,….

    • I’m all for bringing up young players from the academy but that “core” needs to be supplemented by 3 DPs. Otherwise, ownership is not doing its best to put a winning team on the field. I’d prefer younger DPs than Pirlo and Lampard but RBNY need help and fast.

      • Huh? Kreis plays a diamond midfield, that means there’s still two open CM spots. I guarantee Mix will start.

      • I believe Mix will still play but in a diamond midfield there are technically ONLY 2 CM spots; a CDM and a CAM. most likely Pirlo will be the former and Lampard will be the latter but I see Mix playing RM or perhaps Kreis moves to a 433 with a CDM and two CMs. I don’t know the roster’s strength in terms of wingers etc but if they have the personnel this wouldn’t be a bad idea to try.

      • Not necessarily. Some diamonds can function with four players sitting very narrow allowing the wingbacks to bomb forward.

        Diskerud actually started the Germany friendly at LM but his role was virtually as a LCM that is able to cut inside and clog the midfield. This allowed a player like Fabian Johnson to be able to overlap and provide the width necessary to provide service to the target forwards.

        If this is how Kreis sets up his club, Pirlo as the trequartista (deep lying playmaker, I don’t like calling him a destroyer in the way Beckerman plays), Mix at LM/LCM, Lampard as the attacking mid, and player TBA on the right side, this may be very well work.

      • yup, exactly. although i’d seriously consider having Mix be the one sitting back in the midfield 4. like he did for the US last game. seems to be decent enough there and will at least provide some kind of defensive work rate. something i’d question with Pirlo who is used to having Pogba and Vidal in the midfield with him to do all of that nonsense.

        then slide Pirlo to a LCM/RCM position where he can still play deep enough, stay pinched in, and allow the fullback to provide width on his side.

      • He’ll get plenty of minutes. Both legends are kind of old and will need rest. Plus, Kreis loves the diamond midfield, Frank up top with Mix and Pirlo on the sides is part of their first XI. Mix couldn’t be in a better place to grow his game, imo.

  12. Pirlo is obviously an all time great but he is old. I don’t think he will survive the horrible home pitch and the hacks like Will Johnson and Alonso who roam the MLS midfield. Pirlo is smart and will avoid challenges but he will be a pretty stationary player and with the focus of every defense I don’t see him making very many spectacular plays.

    • You have to be wondering why Pirlo even came here.

      He is so smart and great. Everything about MLS is inferior.

  13. Please, grant us a glimpse of your soccer wisdom. Who would you have signed?

    Pirlo can place the ball on a dime from 40 yards and will sell tickets and jerseys out the wazoo.

  14. This is exactly what Man City Jr needs. Please continue to sign more 35+ Euro legends looking for one last hurrah . This is definitely the way to go, you’ll surely be kings of NY now. 🙂

    • Thats funny, Juventus wanted to sign him to another year deal. The MLS deak is rumored o be 18 months. So I guess this makes Serie A a retirement league too?

      • Juve was not going to pay him what MLS is. Not even close. He picked MLS for one last big paycheck Nothing more.

      • It must be nice to have access to Pirlo’s private thoughts. How did you gain the ability to read his mind? Are you superhero? And why aren’t using the talent for more important endeavors than for correcting people on an Internet message board?

      • So? It makes business sense for him to go where he makes more money. But you neglect to address the fact that for regardless of the amount Juve wanted him for another year. So there’s quality there. If your point is that MLS overpaid for it – then maybe, who knows? But there is quality there and this can only be a huge plus for our league and a massive improvement for the expansion team.

      • LOL. The fact that you hang around this site waitng for me to post so you can bash me cracks me up. Never change, son.

      • It’s ok Rob. It’s all going to be ok.

        MLS is garbage. He didn’t come here because there was no chance of winning a title while playing for lesser teams in Europe, while there was a fair chance here.

        Don’t panic. Stay calm.

      • “…there was no chance of winning a title while playing for lesser teams in Europe, while there was a fair chance here.”

        if “MLS is garbage” why would he care about winning a title in a young, ‘non-storied’ “garbage” league? I’d guess he came for the money, the country and its marketing power. He will have plenty of endorsement options while getting to experience American luxury at its finest; not bad choice at 36

    • Pirlo is still an incredible player.

      We have two great Italian players in MLS.

      I’ll be in my local stands when Pirlo comes through…he’s the kind of player you want to see for yourself.


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