NYCFC Notes: Xavi not in team plans, Lampard coming to town, more

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Last summer, Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez literally had his belongings ready to go for an anticipated move to New York City FC.

This year, there may not be a reason to pack.

“I would say I am really split. I’m on the fence,” NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis said of a potential swoop for the Spanish midfielder. “I’m a huge fan of Xavi Hernandez. I think he would be a huge player in this league, no doubt about it. Huge for new York City, huge for the club. But positionally, I don’t know it makes the best sense and the most sense — but I am open for anything.”

Whether with NYCFC or the New York Red Bulls, Xavi has consistently been part of the conversation where Designated Players are involved.  Each has come tantalizingly close to signing the midfield maestro, but neither has found the final signature.  The Red Bulls, deep in the midst of a rebuild, look to be out of the big name DP market, leaving NYCFC a clear front runner for Xavi — if they so choose to pursue him.

“This is always difficult because when you think about a player like Xavi Hernandez, for me, one of the best players in the world ever, you say to yourself on one side you sit there and say there’s no doubt that a player like that will be great at New York City,” Kreis acknowledged. “But when you look at it from another view and say you only got three of these (Designated Player slots), and you already got another one that plays in the midfield and you got a third one in David Villa, whose all relative age are getting up there, you start to think, maybe not.”

Aside from age, the problem now is that NYCFC have evolved to the point where Xavi just does not fit into the equation.  As strange as that may sound, it is true. The team has a solid core in the middle.  Mix Diskerud, Andrew Jacobson, Ned Grabavoy and Sebastian Velasquez have been fantastic contributors for the team.  Frank Lampard’s arrival this summer crowds the midfield further, making Hernandez and his skill set redundant.

Of course, decision makers abound in NYCFC and Kreis is surely not the last word on player acquisitions.  But for now, it is hard to argue a place for the legendary Barcelona midfielder.

JUST VISITING!

Ease up, NYCFC fans — Frank Lampard is not coming back just yet.

Reports out of England revealed the Manchester City midfielder has plans to travel to New York during this weekend’s break from international action.  Kreis confirmed those reports Wednesday afternoon, making a point to say Lampard’s arrival was strictly a visit — and nothing more.

“No it is certainly not anything that is being discussed,” Kreis said of a potential early arrival. “We need to prepare ourselves to be ready for him to join us in the summer.”

“I’m certain we’ll get to spend some time together and it’s really exciting obviously he’s going to take the time and make the effort to come over and see us this weekend when he has a break. I look forward to spending some time with him and also getting him around the guys some more. I think that’s important.”

NEWS AND NOTES

  • Defender Josh Williams continues to battle viral pericarditis.  According to Kreis, he is “looking very doubtful for this weekend.”
  • With Williams and Shay Facey out [red card], Kreis says to expect a “shuffle” in the backline.  Whether that opens the door for Andres Mendoza’s debut is yet to be determined.
  • Sebastian Velasquez pulled his groin muscle; an injury Kreis believes to be “fairly serious.” He will likely be out against Sporting KC.

 

 


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