As March 13th gets closer and closer, and a promising sophomore season begins for the new boys in the Bronx, I get excited over what’s to come.

A lot of moves were made by management, some good, some bad, some that we will just sit and watch as they play out. How will Vieira pan out? Can the older stars stay healthy? What about those holes in defense? Harrison who?

Here are my 5 reasons why 2016 will be NYCFC’s year.

KREIS OUT, VIEIRA IN 

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We are a young club. Yet we were expected to succeed from day one. Maybe it is the MCFC baby brother label that some people like to throw at us, maybe it’s the fact that we had three HUGE name players, or it may just be that this is NEW YORK…but Jason Kreis wasn’t given a fair shot.

There were so many factors that played out last season, our very first season, that contributed to the team missing the playoffs.The constant rotation of players, the complete lack of coordination by the back line, the months long “will he, won’t he” with both Lampard and Pirlo, Villa’s injury, were some of the things that contributed to the lackluster season and Kreis’ early exit.

But although I wish Kreis would’ve gotten a chance to grow with this team and build something special, I am excited for a manager with the caliber of a Vieira. I’m hoping that Vieira brings all those years of EPL experience to NYCFC and raise the bar for most of these young players.

FLASHES OF BRILLIANCE 

Last season NYCFC was a team with a porous defense that showed that they could play with the best of them on any given weekend.

There was the 3-1 shutdown of D.C United in August, the 5-3 against Kaka and Orlando S.C., even the 4-4 draw against Toronto where Giovinco scored a hat trick in 15 minutes. We are an exciting team to watch and now with a full team who has had a full off-season together I think we are getting ready to see great results.

POKU, POKU, POKU 

Poku’s development is key to this team’s success. He is a spark plug off the bench for a team that at times can seem a bit slow. He is a force of nature barreling at defenders in the last third. I am hoping his time with the MCFC developmental grounds has helped him.

JACK HARRISON #1 PICK 

I must say I don’t know much about Jack Harrison as a player. I just happen to come from a soccer culture where college soccer isn’t a thing. The norm is, if you are good you are good and that means getting signed before you are of age. The reality is that the US does not have that kind of youth system to produce amazing players, otherwise Mr. Jack Harrison would be in Europe developing at a top teams youth academy.

However, being the #1 pick is nothing to take lightly. He obviously has some skills and he can hopefully be integrated into Vieira’s system and be a good player off the bench.

VILLA, PIRLO, LAMPARD

 

Yes, they will all be a year older. Yes, Lampard is slow and Pirlo has never been one to play much defense. But the reality remains that Villa is still one of the best strikers in today’s MLS, Pirlo’s control is that of a magician and if Lampard can stay relatively healthy and in shape he can be an asset, as well as help in the development of the upcoming class of midfielders.

This team is here for the long haul. Rome wasn’t built in a day and to expect NYCFC to win an MLS championship is unfair, but we will be a team to watch and a force in the league. We have a great coaching staff and three legends of the sport passing their knowledge on to eager new players. Most importantly, New York has the best fans who love their team and will show up rain, or shine 30 degrees or 97.
We are here. It’s going to be a fun year. #WeAreOne 🙌
PHOTO CREDIT: VIA PHOTOPIN (license)