NYCFC coach Ronny Deila pleased with young squad’s effort in Florida Cup
New York City FC head coach Ronny Deila sat his starters and deployed a young squad comprised mostly of academy players during his first match leading the club.
Despite a 2-1 loss to Brazilian side Corinthians on Wednesday during the opening match of the Florida Cup at Orlando’s Exploria Stadium, the Norwegian boss said he was content with his squad’s performance.
“I was very pleased and very impressed with how we played,” Deila said. “What I was most pleased about was … we kept together, compact as a whole team. All of the youngsters were very impressive. I was very proud of the team spirit and the discipline.”
Luan Vieira scored in the 11th and 30th minute – both from outside the box – to give the Timão a 2-0 lead going into halftime.
NYCFC academy player Niko Kapanadze scored the club’s only goal in the 75th minute.
Deila opted to sit starters Maxi Moralez and Brazilian forward Héber during Wednesday’s match, but he said they might see some playing time on Saturday during the final day of the Florida Cup.
“The players had two and a half months without training with the club, so of course it’s crazy to put the older ones straight into the game, it’s a big risk for injuries,” Deila said when asked why he chose not to play his veterans.
Valentín Castellanos (Argentina U-21), Sean Johnson (United States) and Jesús Medina (Paraguay) are expected to return to NYCFC training camp once they finish their time with their respective national teams.
Recent signing Gedion Zelalem started on Wednesday for the Pigeons.
Deila, who’s in his first week leading the club since being appointed NYCFC’s head coach, said he’s already feeling at home with his new club.
“It’s important when new people come into the club, whether it’s a coach or a player, and you feel that they really want you there,” he said. “… So, I’m so impressed about the staff and the players, the way the togetherness in the club is like a family feeling. That makes everybody settle down much quicker.”
NYCFC is back in action during the Florida Cup finale when the club pays Palmeiras at 2 p.m. Corinthians plays Atlético Nacional at 5:30 p.m. at Exploria Stadium.