NYCFC, Depth of the squad
New York City FC already had a talented squad, but they still needed to add depth this offseason. So far, the team has done just that.
Recently, MLS Multiplex discussed the signing of Homegrown Tayvon Gray. Gray’s signing was intelligent on NYCFC’s part, but there were questions on whether he could contribute this year. From watching him in preseason, Gray demonstrated he can compete and even contributed to a de Rosario goal against Los Angeles FC. Yes, this year’s focus should be on development, but if injuries run rampant among the squad, the Pigeons can rely on Gray.
In January, NYCFC signed central midfielder Gedion Zelalem. Zelalem originally started with Arsenal but had difficulty cracking the first team. He only made four appearances before making his way to Rangers, VVV-Venlo, and eventually Sporting Kansas City. In Kansas City, Zelalem only played nine matches and even spent some time on loan with their USL Championship side. Looking at his career, some may view him as a player who never lived up to his potential.
Nevertheless, Zelalem is just 22 years old and could still eventually make his mark in MLS. He has extensive experience, is very versatile, capable of playing across the midfield, and can play a part in the rotation throughout the team this season.
Furthermore, in January, NYCFC signed Gudmundur Thorarinsson. According to the Pigeons, the Icelandic international has ‘played as both a left-back and in central midfield throughout his career’. This provides much-needed depth for Ronald Matarrita, who was the only left-back on the team. This versatility, like with Gray and Zelalem, is vital for New York City FC’s depth.