Fans of New York City Football Club may have been disheartened by another loss to crosstown rivals, New York Red Bulls, but in actuality it was just another practice for Patrick Vieira to figure out the final roster.
The two New York Clubs used the game for very different reasons. Red Bulls are about to play in the CONCACAF Champions league and Jesse Marsch fielded a nearly full strength squad. NYCFC on the other had started a group of player
s that are just vying for a spot on the team. The outcome of the game was pretty much a forgone conclusion when the line ups were announced.
Patrick Vieira used the game to see how newly drafted and acquired players could fit into the line up. He id find some answers. John Stertzer was a bright spot on the pitch for NYCFC and James Sands brought a calming influence in the holding midfield role when he came on for Chris Wingate. Sean Okoli proved he could function as a target forward but he still needs to work on his movement without the ball.
NYCFC did lack the creative spark that Andrea Pirlo or David Villa bring to the pitch. The two superstars were not even on the roster for the game. Newly-acquired Maximiliano Moralez and Alexander Ring were also missing from action. Indeed all of what seems to be Vieira’s first choices were absent from the game. Clearly, he is using the preseason games to finalize the roster and see who can be a serviceable back up to the starters.
NYCFC keep adding players daily, announcing just after the game that the club had signed Costa Rican international Rodney Wallace. The Club is still very much evolving and taking shape.
So, NYCFC fans, take hope. This was a tactical move on Vieira’s part and a smart one in many ways. NY red bulls have no idea what NYCFC is going to look or even play like when the regular season begins while NYCFC got a look at Red Bull’s A team in action. The game was a success for both clubs for different reasons and the real matchups during the regular season promise to be even more exciting as this rivalry grows.