Armchair Analyst's Breakdown
- Strength: While there’s always a dip when NYCFC cycle through coaches – which we absolutely saw last year when Nick Cushing took over – the overall City Football Group ethos means the team’s game model stays pretty much constant. And so under Patrick Vieira, Dome Torrent and Ronny Deila, there’s always been a Year 2 bump. Nick Cushing’s turn.
- Weakness: This might end up looking stupid because the kid’s so talented, but I’m just not able to buy Talles Magno as a No. 9.
- Maxi Moralez: It’s a new era at NYCFC, with club legend Maxi Moralez returning to his boyhood side: Racing Club in Argentina. The No. 10 produced 26g/69a in 162 regular-season MLS appearances and helped lead the Cityzens to an MLS Cup 2021 title.
- Sean Johnson: NYCFC’s all-time leader in appearances has a new club, leaving in free agency to sign with Toronto FC. Sean Johnson, 33, played in 179 regular-season games for the club and became a steady USMNT goalkeeper.
- Alex Callens: One of MLS’s top defenders (and a Peruvian international) ultimately signed for a different City Football Group club, joining Spanish side Girona FC and reuniting with Taty Castellanos in LaLiga.
- Matt Freese: With Sean Johnson leaving for Toronto FC, NYCFC went to the trade market to add a new goalkeeper. They acquired Matt Freese from the Philadelphia Union, where the former US youth international was a backup to three-time Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake.
- Braian Cufré: Argentine left back Braian Cufré joins NYCFC on loan from LaLiga side Mallorca after making five appearances in the Spanish top flight (and 54 in LaLiga2). He first broke through at Argentina's Velez Sarsfield before moving to Spain.
- Mitja Ilenič: Slovenian youth international right back Mitja Ilenič was acquired this winter after longtime right back Anton Tinnerholm returned to his native Sweden. Ilenic, only 18, made 33 appearances for NK Domzale.
- Full roster
Projected Starting XI
Editor's note: While Santiago Rodriguez isn't formally signed (as of publication), he's included in the below lineup and is reportedly returning to NYCFC.
- Marcelo Balboa: 3rd in East
- Charles Boehm: 3rd in East
- Tom Bogert: 10th in East
- Matt Doyle: 5th in East
- David Gass: 10th in East
- J. Sam Jones: 9th in East
- Sacha Kljestan: 6th in East
- Kaylyn Kyle: 2nd in East
- Joseph Lowery: 3rd in East
- Melissa Ortiz: 7th in East
- Danielle Slaton: 7th in East
- Andrew Wiebe: 8th in East
- Bradley Wright-Phillips: 3rd in East
Odds & Ends
- Head coach: Nick Cushing
- Stadium: Yankee Stadium & Citi Field
- Last year: 16W-11L-7D, 55 points, 3rd in East
- Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs: Eastern Conference Final