NYCFC’s Chanot Refutes Reports of Departure

Matt Kremkau

NYCFC logoPURCHASE, N.Y. — Maxime Chanot stepped outside Wednesday to train for the first time since undergoing hernia surgery. He then walked over to reporters and, unprompted, said he wanted to address recent reports that he intended to leave New York City FC at the end of the season.

“When you are football player, you have to deal with rumors. It’s a part of your job,” Chanot said. “We have to deal with it as professional athletes and sometimes the best way is to avoid an answer or otherwise you cannot focus on your football but in this case, I think the best way is to answer this rumor because this rumor is totally wrong. I don’t know where it came from and that’s why I’m here to clarify the situation.”

A report from Belgium, also reported by NYCFC Nation, said that Chanot would seek a return to the Belgian league for family reasons. He is under contract with NYCFC through the end of next season and is on track to return to action before the end of the current regular season. He said that the support he’s received from the club and teammates has made him more willing to stay at the club than ever.

“I used to love New York City a lot but I’m feeling so blessed to be here, I have so much support,” he said. “I just want to say that I’m 200 percent focused on New York City, there’s no point at all to go back to Europe and for people who know me, I’m someone who never quits so I came here to help the team win the championship and as long we don’t get it, I won’t leave the club. I’m under contract and as along as New York City want me to play for them, I will play for them.”

Chanot said he would be willing to sign a new contract with NYCFC if offered the opportunity. He said he didn’t know how far he was from returning to the field but the initial prognosis said he would be out for six-to-eight weeks which sets a possible return for sometime after next month’s international break. He said that he felt compelled to address the issue after receiving messages on social media and added that whomever claimed to speak on his behalf did not represent him.

“I never spoke to anybody, I’m sure my family didn’t speak to anybody,” he said. “When I have to speak about myself, I speak about myself. Nobody helps but me. I don’t know where it came from but all I can say is that it was a fake rumor.”

When asked about it, Coach Patrick Vieira said that Chanot never approached him about leaving the club. Vieira said he doesn’t plan on speaking to Chanot about the reports either.

“I wasn’t even aware of that rumor and I’m not going to talk to him about it,” Vieira said. “What is important to me is the way he’s conducted himself, the way he trains, the way he plays, the way he interacts with the other players and the love he has for the football club. All of the rest of the stuff, we can’t control it so it’s all yours.”


Ronald Matarrita, Alex Ring, David Villa, Ethan White and Mikey Lopez all fully participated in training on Wednesday. Villa, White and Lopez trained all week and are available to start, it was Ring’s first day with the team so he remains questionable for Saturday. … Matarrita should be available to appear against Houston on Saturday as well but whether he starts is unclear. … Ben Sweat has mitigated the impact of his absence with a revelatory season at left back leaving Vieira with a choice to make. … “Mata last year was fantastic for us and he is a really important player for us and I’m happy to see him back. Ben has been doing fantastically well, he’s been playing at the level where he’s been doing really well so to have two left backs at this level is really good for our football club.”

NYCFC its going to treat its preparation for Saturday’s game in East Hartford, Conn., as normally as possible, Vieira said. The team will leave for Connecticut on Friday and train at Pratt & Whitney Stadium that afternoon. The team will spend the night in Hartford before hosting the Dynamo Saturday afternoon. … Sean Johnson was rested for Wednesday’s session and may train on Thursday. He’s been rested for parts of the past two weeks after the knee injury susteained against the Portland Timbers but is expected to start Saturday.

Vieira on facing the Dynamo’s press and forwards after facing them in preseason: “We know what to expect against them. We know how fast they are to close you down and how quick they can use and attack that space. We have to prepare for the game well and try to not make any mistakes because lately, we’ve been making mistakes and getting punished really hard. We will have to be concentrated and focused from the start to the end.”