For Vieira, ‘Media Day’ just another unique lesson of life in MLS

MATT KREMKAU

by CHRISTIAN ARAOS

The Hudson River Derby is Saturday and Patrick Vieira would like to get on with it.

But before he can do that, the NYCFC head coach still had to do Rivalry Week media day yesterday — mere hours after his team returned from Toronto.

That served as just the latest example of Vieira’s education to America’s football.

“What really surprised me in MLS is when the coaches have to wear the microphone,” Vieira said, “when the cameras are coming into the dressing room, when you play Portland, you play Toronto you arrive in the morning and have to go straight to the press conference when you know you have a big game on Saturday.

Taking a more serious tone, Vieira continued. “It doesn’t help for the players especially to recover from the long trip,” he said. “Stuff like that surprises me but that is the way it is and we just have to work through to it.”

Vieira has been trying to play down the magnitude of New York City FC‘s run of form all week, saying the team can fall down the standings as quickly as it rose up.

But media day led to his side having Thursday off with only a light training session Friday to prepare for Saturday’s match against the New York Red Bulls.

“It’s really difficult to prepare for this game,” Vieira said. “When you travel and then you have to bring some of the players here to do some press conference and knowing that tomorrow is the day before the game, there’s no much we can do. It is not the best preparation for a big game like that.

“On the the other hand, we’re going to prepare for the game the same way we prepare for the other ones. We are going to go on the field with the same kind of ambition to control, to dictate the game. We have a lot of respect for the Red Bulls because in the past year they did really well. We respect the players, they are a really good side and it will be a difficult game for us.

“It will be a difficult game because there is a rivalry between the two clubs,” Vieira acknowledged. “It will be a difficult game because of the quality of the players but we will give our best. It’s an exciting game to play for the players to play at home around 40,000 people. The players are excited about it but at the same time we have to respect the game, we have to concentrate on the football side of it.

“We have to keep calm and play football.”