A look at NYCFC’s depth chart

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

MIDFIELD

Defensive Midfield: Andrea Pirlo (DP, I), Mikey Lopez, Federico Bravo (I), Andrew Jacobson

The most notable change between Jason Kreis and Vieira has been the latter’s insistence on playing a 4-3-3 with one holding midfielder. This naturally fits Andrea Pirlo, who struggled at times meeting the physical demands of playing in MLS last year. Pirlo playing in a deeper position allows him to dictate the play without being closed down by the opposition as often as his inaugural campaign. Additionally, he can recycle possession as a holding midfielder.

Lopez and new-signing Federico Bravo are more defensive-minded than Pirlo and will be vying to be Vieira’s first choice when he calls for a destroyer to hold a late lead or in defensive-minded lineups. Lopez, 23, and Bravo, 22, are both also in the same position in their respective footballing lives having seen their once-promising careers plateau earlier than they’d have hoped. Lopez has the upper hand early on having played in each preseason game while Bravo missed a couple of interceptions in his first preseason game.

Andrew Jacobson has cameoed at defensive midfield but only briefly so far this preseason.

Central Midfield: Mix Diskerud, Thomas McNamara, Frank Lampard (DP, I), Kwandwo Poku, Mikey Lopez, Andrew Jacobson

Mix Diskerud may never become a traditional number ten, but he will be trusted to be a playmaker for NYCFC this season. Although it is very early, Diskerud may be the player that most benefits from Vieira’s 4-3-3. He will be asked to cover half of the midfield while looking to create chances for NYCFC’s front three.

Thomas McNamara has also adapted well to Vieira’s system playing mostly as a center left midfielder. McNamara and Matarrita showed a good understanding in NYCFC’s match against Oklahoma City Energy. Whether McNamara starts for NYCFC on March 6th depends on the fitness of Frank Lampard. NYCFC are taking it slowly in getting Lampard to match fitness and he has yet to appear this preseason. Nonetheless, he is expected to be fit for the trip to Illinois.

Kwadwo Poku struggled against HB Køge and will need to make the most of the remaining two matches in preseason to convince Vieira that he can be regular starter in 2016.

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  • Jason Kreis

    The new coach at NYCFC is anti American players. He will soon find that the OLD, and I do mean OLD players on the roster like the 34 year OLD right back will not hold up well against athletic teams like Red Bulls. Big learning curve coming to try and coach in MLS.
    Unfortunately I predict three more losses to Red Bulls this season.

    • slowleftarm

      tell me what team do they hold up well against ?


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