NYCFC Notebook: Vieira Offended by Kreis’ Comments

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By CHRISTIAN ARAOS

NYCFC logoCalling it a personal attack, New York City FC Coach Patrick Vieira said that he was offended by comments made by Orlando City Coach Jason Kreis after last Sunday’s game.

Kreis said he wanted fellow coaches to be more respectful of their opponents after Vieira and NYCFC’s players declared their superiority in the three games the teams have played already this year in Major League Soccer. The Lions won two of three games, accounting for half of NYCFC’s losses.

“The way that he talked was a little bit of anger and the personal attack, that is something that we’re not going to accept,” Vieira said. “I will accept everybody’s opinion. I say what I think and people can agree or disagree but I stay on the field and give an opinion on the game and I think he should do the same and try to control himself a little bit more.”

Vieira followed by stressing that he continues to have respect for Kreis dating to when Kreis and he worked together during Kreis’ stay at Manchester City, where Vieira coached the Elite Development Squad. Vieira said he spoke with Kreis before the game and described the conversation as cordial about how each of their teams were doing.

“When we’re talking about respect, I didn’t disrespect anybody,” Vieira said. “I talked about the game, the way I see the game. I never disrespected him, I never disrespected the players on Orlando. I never disrespected the team and I didn’t see this coming. It looked more personal than anything else.”

Pirlo Likely to Miss Atlanta Game

Andrea Pirlo‘s knee injury has kept him out of training late this week and Vieira said that “it will be difficult” for Pirlo to make the trip Atlanta for Sunday’s game against Atlanta United.

“He’s been playing the last few games with pain in the knee,” he said. “We don’t want to risk it and we just have to wait for the fluid come out and he will come back to training.”

According to recent reports in the British news media say that Pirlo could join the staff of Chelsea Coach Antonio Conte. The Times of London, TalkSport and others said that Conte is attempting to convince the Chelsea board to hire an Italian coach, presumably Pirlo, by the start of the Premier League season in August. Vieira said he had not read the reports and had no comment.

Matarrita Could Play on Sunday

Ronald Matarrita was limited in training on Thursday as he recovers from a high ankle sprain. He has missed the past month, but could be available for on Sunday.

“He just did the passing drill and the possession,” Vieira said. “We have to wait and see tomorrow to see how the ankle reacts. If it reacts well, we’re going to push him a little bit and then we have to see day-after-day.”

With another game on Wednesday (against New England), Matarrita could be held out of the lineup for the weekend, but ready to face the Revolution. Khiry Shelton was also limited in training as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Ethan White trained at full strength a groin issue forced him to leave last Sunday’s game in Orlando.

Rotation Ahead

NYCFC had only one game, practically a lull compared to last week and the week ahead. City has three games in six days — Atlanta on Sunday, New England on Wednesday, Philadelphia on June 3 and then a two-week break until facing Seattle at Yankee Stadium.

Vieira blamed himself for the rotation decisions he made last week in the team’s loss to Real Salt Lake and promised a different approach against Atlanta.

“We’re going to have three games and one day less than last time and that is something we have to manage well,” he said. “The other side is that we’re going to play two games at home so we’re not going to be traveling. We’re going to take it game after game, but I will make less rotation than I made last week.”