NYCFC head coach Ronny Deila: "We need more quality players"

Ronny Deila - NYCFC - preseason

Like many other teams across MLS, the squad that New York City FC opened preseason with is not the finished product. For NYCFC, it's far from it.

Head coach Ronny Deila didn't mince words on the subject, echoing a sentiment shared among many fans. 

“We have a very young squad, the depth in this squad is not good enough to do something in MLS," Deila told media on a virtual press conference. "We need more quality players.”

NYCFC traded Alexander Ring to Austin FC, Ronald Matarrita to FC Cincinnati, transferred Joe Scally to Borussia Monchengladbach while rotational forward Gary Mackay-Steven also departed. The team's only key addition thus far has been left back Malte Amundsen.

They still have plenty of stalwarts from one of the league's most consistent teams over the past few years, like Maxi Moralez, Anton Tinnerholm, Alex Callens, James Sands and more. 

“The starting XI is going to be strong, but the depth is not the same as we had last year," Deila said.

NYCFC still have plenty of flexibility to add to the squad. 

Only Moralez currently occupies a designated player spot, while they have plenty of senior and international roster spots open. The trades of Ring and Matarrita returned a ton of general allocation money, while some of Scally's transfer fee can be converted to GAM as well. 

“We have the opportunity to sign good players to come in and give the team more depth and quality," Deila said. "We look at different positions, we need some players on the left side. We only have one striker right now. We only have Maxi as a clear No. 10. We have positions we need to do something at. We’re working hard to get this right.”

Deila also provided an update on forward Heber, who is recovering from a torn ACL. The team's 2019 leading scorer with 15 goals in 22 games didn't quite find the same form in 2020 before suffering his season-ending injury. He'll be back to add to the quality before long as well, but isn't close. 

“Heber is still in Brazil having good training there," Deila said. "He will join us when we come back from training camp. He’ll be available to play around June or July, around there. Worst case August.”