Predicted New York City FC starting XI if the league began today

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 Meara

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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 Wingert

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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 Lampard

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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 Villa

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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?

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Trade crazy! All the MLS trades from a busy window on Monday

Major League Soccer clubs across the country have been busy acquiring players today. The half-day trade window gave MLS teams four hours to trade players for the first time this offseason. Clubs could also re-sign their own players.

11 players were on the move on Monday as 10 different clubs were involved with some form of trade in the final opportunity to reshuffle squad’s before Wednesday’s MLS Expansion Draft.

The Expansion Draft gets underway at 19:00 (UK time) on Wednesday and the offseason trade window will reopen after the draft ends.

Here are all today’s trades in what has been a busy day:

Michael Harrington: Portland Timbers – Colorado Rapids

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The Colorado Rapids acquired defender Michael Harrington from the Portland Timbers in exchange for allocation money. The 28-year-old made 25 appearances for the Timbers last season and should shore up a leaky Colorado defence that conceded more goals than anyone else in 2014.

Nat Borchers: Real Salt Lake – Portland Timbers

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The Timbers quickly replaced Harrington by bringing in Nat Borchers from Western Conference rivals Real Salt Lake for allocation money. The 33-year-old centre-back was with RSL since 2008 and started 32 games last season. Borchers was one of five players the Timbers signed on Monday.

Josh Williams: Columbus Crew – New York City FC

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New York City have bulked up their defence with the addition of Josh Williams from Columbus Crew in exchange for allocations funds. Williams, 26, made 14 appearances for the Crew this season.

Andrew Driver – Joe Willis/Samuel Inkoom: Houston Dynamo – DC United

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English winger Andrew Driver joined Eastern Conference winners DC United from Houston Dynamo in exchange for Joe Willis and Samuel Inkoom. The Dynamo have bolstered their defence by bringing in goalkeeper Willis and right-back Inkoom while DC have added another attacking option in Driver.

Amobi Okugo:  Philadelphia Union – Orlando City SC

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Orlando City brought in three players on Monday. Amobi Okugo was the first as the 23-year-old holding midfielder joined from Philadelphia Union in exchange for allocation money and a 2016 2nd Round SuperDraft pick. Okugo made 32 appearances for the Union in 2014, scoring and assisting two goals.

Aurelien Collin: Sporting Kansas City – Orlando City SC

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Orlando’s second pick-up was Aurelien Collin. The dominant centre-back will undoubtedly give the Lions a solid defensive leader. He joins Orlando in exchange for allocation money and future considerations. Collin, MLS Cup MVP from 2013, made 26 appearances for Sporting Kansas City in 2014, scoring twice.

Tally Hall: Houston Dynamo – Orlando City SC

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The third acquisition Orlando made was goalkeeper Tally Hall who joins from Houston in exchange for allocation money and an international roster spot. Hall and Collin will need to keep the Lions defence solid in their inaugural season in MLS next season.

C.J. Sapong: Sporting Kansas City – Philadelphia Union

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Philadelphia bolstered their attack with the addition of C.J. Sapong from Sporting Kansas City in exchange for the Union’s highest first-round pick in the upcoming SuperDraft. Sapong scored twice in 20 appearances for SKC in 2014.

Bernardo Anor: Columbus Crew – Sporting Kansas City

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After seeing Collin and Sapong leave, Sporting Kansas City brought in someone in the form of midfielder Bernardo Anor from Columbus Crew. Anor joined SKC in exchange for allocation money after scoring six goals with one assist in 27 games this year.

Omar Salgado: Vancouver Whitecaps – New York City FC

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New York City also made a move to improve their attacking options ahead of their debut season by bringing in Omar Salgado from the Vancouver Whitecaps in a swap for Future Considerations. The 21-year-old only played eight times for the Whitecaps in 2014.

Joe Nasco – Dimitry Imbongo/Geoffrey Castillion: Colorado Rapids – New England Revolution

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MLS Cup Final losers New England Revolution also made a move in the short trade window by bringing in Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Joe Nasco and a third round pick in the upcoming SuperDraft. In exchange the Revs sent forwards Dimitry Imbongo and Geoffrey Castillion as well as a second round SuperDraft pick.

Expansion franchises New York City and Orlando City also picked up international roster slots for the 2015 and 2016 seasons from DC United. Both clubs will now be looking ahead to Wednesday’s highly-anticipated Expansion Draft.

What did you make of Monday’s busy day of trading in MLS?