NYCFC Notes: Harrison, Lampard working back into lineup, Vieira happy in U.S.


by Christian Araos

Jack Harrison and Frank Lampard each made their first appearances of the season last week. They completed long injury recoveries and will each be gradually phased into the lineup, head coach Patrick Vieira said, adding that he wants to see both consistently train with the team before giving them more minutes.

“It is important for Frank to believe in his calf and keep playing and training like he has the past week,” Vieira said. “Then he will get 20 minutes here, 15 minutes there but what is important for him is to train every day and not to miss training. The game will come with how long he’s been training.”

“With Jack, it’s the same. Jack has been out for awhile, nearly four months, and I need to get him back into the rhythm and if I throw him and Frank straight into the game, I won’t be helping them.”

Vieira also said that he substituted both players on last week to get them their first minutes without expecting to overturn the match.

Martinez, Allen to replace Matarrita

Ronald Matarrita is with the Costa Rican National Team for the Copa America Centenario. That leaves Vieira with two options to replace the NYCFC left back: R.J. Allen and Diego Martinez.

Allen is normally a right back but has played left back at times this season. Martinez made his first start of the season against Toronto FC on May 18 but came off after 66 minutes looking tired and lacking full match fitness.

“I think Matarrita away is a loss for us but I think it will give an opportunity for other players to get more games,” Vieira said. “We have Martinez and R.J. can play on the left as well. We’ll take a look at how the week goes and make a decision on the day of the game.”

Martinez has been hobbled with an injury this week but fully participated in Thursday training. Allen spent some time on the left as well Thursday.

Vieira settling into America

Owen Coyle admitted personal reasons as part of the reason he and the Houston Dynamo parted ways. Coyle could not settle into America and was reportedly living out of a hotel in Houston.

Though Vieira also crossed an ocean to coach in MLS, he said he is happy and well-adjusted to life in the U.S.

“I’ve been here for four months but it’s not like I’m coming to somewhere I’ve never been before,” Vieira said. “I’ve been here on holiday, I know the city and I’ve got friends here. My family is set up quite really well, the little ones love the school. The weather is becoming really nice and I’m happy.”