New York City finally have a proper squad ahead of their debut season in Major League Soccer after bulking out the numbers through yesterdays MLS Expansion Draft.
Jason Kreis now has 18 players to choose from as his side is starting to take full shape. More names will be added before the start of play in 2015, but if the league were to begin today, this is what the starting lineup would probably look like.
The current team’s players means that a 4-1-2-1-2 formation is the best option due to the lack of wide midfielders, and high number of central playing midfield men.
Goalkeeper: Ryan MearaEmbed from Getty Images
Ryan Meara has joined the club from the New York Red Bulls in a loan deal that saw Expansion Draft pick Sal Zizzo move the other way on a permanent basis. Meara is a young ‘keeper at 24, but Jason Kreis may have him down as his starter between the sticks after moving to secure his services so quickly.
Right-back: Josh Williams
Josh Williams joined the club in a trade from Columbus Crew on Monday and is the only recognised right-back in the squad at the moment. He made 71 appearances for the Crew over the past five seasons and adds some much needed MLS experience to the side.
Centre-back: Jason Hernandez
New York City picked Jason Hernandez with the third pick in the Expansion Draft and he the veteran will likely slot straight in at centre-back due to his vital experience of the league. He has been in MLS for ten years and has played at least 20 times in eight of those campaigns.
Centre-back: George John
George John missed the 2014 campaign with FC Dallas but should be ready to go by the start of the new season. The 27-year-old has made 119 appearances in the league since 2009 and is another who adds much needed experience to the backline.
Left-back: Chris WingertEmbed from Getty Images
A pattern is forming across the defence here. Chris Wingert is another veteran defender with vast amounts of experience. He played under Jason Kreis at Real Salt Lake and will be a regular with NYCFC next year.
Defensive-midfield: Andrew Jacobson
Andrew Jacobson is a solid defensive midfielder who will be able to sit deep and stop opposition attacks before they develop. He has played six seasons in MLS and will need to step in and produce some solid displays with New York City next year.
Centre-midfield: Ned Grabavoy
Jason Kreis selected Ned Grabavoy with the first pick in the Expansion Draft, having worked with him at Real Salt Lake. He will be a mainstay in midfield and offers even more valuable experience to the side, having been in the league since 2004.
Centre-midfield: Frank LampardEmbed from Getty Images
The key man in midfield will be England star Frank Lampard, when he eventually joins up with the squad. Manchester City are trying to extend his loan but expect Lampard back in New York for the new season. Will need to be at his best throughout the year.
Attacking-midfield: Thomas McNamara
The eighth pick in the Expansion Draft, Thomas McNamara joins the club from DC United. He only moved to DC a few weeks ago after the Dispersal Draft but could be set for a chance to prove his worth with New York City. He score one goal in six appearances for Chivas USA last term but a more experienced playmaker could be brought in before the start of the 2015 campaign.
Forward: Patrick Mullins
Patrick Mullins was arguably the most exciting pick from the Expansion Draft. The rookie enjoyed an impressive season with New England Revolution and made a real impact in the MLS Cup Final last weekend. The 22-year-old netted four goals in 14 appearances and should be star with NYCFC.
Forward: David VillaEmbed from Getty Images
Mullins will be playing alongside Spanish star David Villa next year in what should be a great partnership. Villa will be expected to light up MLS with goals, goals, and more goals. And he should deliver.
Who do you think will be in the starting lineup for New York City on the first day of the 2015 season?