New York City still to add ‘a few more players’

New York City‘s sporting director Claudio Reyna says the club are happy with their current squad but admitted there could be more players on the way.

“We’re pleased with where we are. We’re still getting everyone up to sync together,” Reyna told the New York City FC YouTube channel.

“But Patrick [Vieira] is pleased. We’re happy with the work we did over the offseason period. Probably a few more players will be coming in to add to the team.”

So far, NYCFC have welcomed seven new faces into the squad during the offseason, while ten players have departed.

Photo: NYCFC.com

Photo: Jack Harrison (via NYCFC.com)

NYCFC’s ins: Jack Harrison (age 19), Ronald Matarrita (age 21), Federico Bravo (age 22), Diego Martinez (age 23), Mikey Lopez (age 23), Ethan White (age 25), Frederic Brillant (age 30)

Five of the seven new signings are under the age of 24, but Reyna says that’s all part of the planning in order to have a balanced squad.

“I think the idea was to try and get some younger players to compliment the experience we have in the team already, to bring some energy in to the team.

“I think the energy and spirit around the team has been fantastic, all the new guys that have come in have been, as expected, welcomed into the group, into the club and everyone really is working together in the same direction to have a good season.”

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READ: New York City 2016 MLS Season Preview

Patrick Vieira’s side will travel to face Chicago Fire for their first game of the 2016 MLS season on Sunday, March 6, and Reyna says they will be aiming high this year.

“The goals going into every season, even though we’re a new team, is to try to win trophies. I think you have to have that mentality. We have three trophies that we could win.

“We have guys who have won the biggest trophies in the world, so they want to win, they’re here to win. We have a head coach who’s won the World Cup, and major trophies with Arsenal.”

What can New York City achieve in 2016?

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Xavi snubs New York City interest as huge money move to Qatar agreed – report

FC Barcelona legend Xavi no longer looks likely to complete a move to Major League Soccer with New York City FC as a big money deal has been agreed with Qatar-based side Al Saad, according to Stade Doha.

The 35-year-old midfielder is expected to sign a three-year deal with Al Saad and will earn €10 million per season if the latest reports are to be believed.

Earlier this month, reports emerged suggesting that the Spaniard was looking set to seal a move to NYCFC and he apparently met with representatives from City Football Group as well as his agent and father in Barcelona.

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New York City sporting director, Claudio Reyna confirmed that the MLS Expansion Franchise were interested in signing Xavi back in February.

“We are very interested in ‘franchise’ players like Xavi. We do not close the doors to Xavi ahead of next year,” Reyna said.

But head coach Jason Kreis then poured some cold water over the rumours yesterday by suggesting that a move for Xavi wouldn’t make much sense.

It now looks the man who has made more appearances than any other player in Barcelona history is ready for a new challenge in Qatar.

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The 2010 World Cup winner is expected to fly out to Al Saad in the next couple of days to finalise a move during the current international break but will remain in Spain with Barca until the end of the current season.

Xavi will also begin working on his coaching badges once a move to Qatar is confirmed and will help with the Aspire Academy, which is trying to develop players ahead of the Qatar World Cup in 2022.

Is a move to Qatar a good one for Xavi? Should he have chosen MLS?

New York City FC still keen on signing Xavi

New York City FC have not given up in their pursuit of Spanish midfielder Xavi Hernandez and sporting director Claudio Reyna has confirmed he is still on the MLS Expansion club’s radar.

Xavi was strongly linked with a move to New York City last summer but ended up staying in Spain with FC Barcelona – the club he has been with for 23 years.

The 34-year-old has made over 700 appearances for Barcelona, winning 22 trophies, but could be set for a new challenge before retiring.

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New York City have not given up in their pursuit as Claudio Reyna confirmed to Spanish TV station TV3 this week.

“We are very interested in ‘franchise’ players like Xavi. We do not close the doors to Xavi ahead of next year,” Reyna said.

“It’s true that we have already tried to sign him, but next year we will need new franchise players.”

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A move to MLS with NYCFC would see Xavi reunite with compatriot David Villa while also forming a partnership with Frank Lampard in what would likely be the best midfield pairing in the league.

Xavi’s current contract with Barcelona expires at the end of June 2016 but NYCFC could make an approach this summer in the hope of signing him for a cut price.

Would Xavi be a good signing for New York City FC?

Frank Lampard expected back at New York City for preseason

New York City FC are expecting star midfielder Frank Lampard to return to the Big Apple in time for preseason training ahead of their debut MLS campaign.

The 36-year-old is currently on loan with Premier League champions and New York City partners Manchester City but that spell should end sooner rather than later.

There were reports suggesting that the Citizens were set to keep Lampard until the end of the Premier League season, meaning he wouldn’t have joined up with NYCFC until around May.

But Claudio Reyna, former City midfielder and New York City director of football, expects Lampard to return for preseason training in the US.

“Do we have a drop-dead date? No, we don’t, but the plan is Frank will be in preseason with New York City FC,” Reyna said, speaking at NYCFC’s kit launch.

“He’s continuing right now – as we always talked about playing – for Manchester City, which is fantastic for him. He’s doing great, the level he’s playing at, he’s just back fully fit.

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“The situation couldn’t have worked out better. Frank has somewhere to play and [we’re] really just excited to have him and he’s really excited to be here for NYCFC.”

Lampard has proved that he’s far from past his best as he earned Manchester City’s Player of the Month award in September after scoring four goals in three games.

The former Chelsea man will look to take Major League Soccer by storm in his, and New York City’s first season in the league, and we should see him return to the US before too long.

How important will Frank Lampard be for New York City FC?