NYCFC midfielder Yangel Herrera weighing options with 2018 plans uncertain

Yangel Herrera - New York City FC - facing Wil Trapp

BRONX, N.Y. – Unless New York City FC pull off a massive comeback this weekend, Yangel Herrera could be playing in his final game for the club.

New York City FC are up against it in the Eastern Conference Semifinals after losing, 4-1, on the road to Columbus Crew SC in the first leg. A 3-0 win at Yankee Stadium on Sunday (5 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes; TSN, TVAS in Canada) represents the easiest path for NYCFC survival, but picking up a victory by that margin will not be easy given the healthy advantage Crew SC hold.

If NYCFC fail to come up with a result that salvages their season, they may be seeing the last of Herrera. The 19-year-old midfielder’s loan from sister club Manchester City is due to expire at the end of the year, and there is no guarantee that he returns to New York City in 2018.

“Nothing has been decided with regards to the future of my career after the end of this season,” Herrera told on Friday. “I still don’t know. I’m still looking to see if I can stay in MLS or go to Europe and return to Manchester.

“I’d like to go to Manchester to see what things are like over there, even though I can’t play because of a work permit that I have to have. I’m exploring all the possibilities that exist, and whether I stay here or go to another team.”

Regardless of how Herrera’s situation plays out, his debut campaign with NYCFC will be remembered for helping him evolve as a player. The Venezuelan played in 18 games during the regular season, and has been a regular starter when not away on international duty or sidelined through injury.

“It’s been a great year for me and a year of learning and gaining experience,” said Herrera. “I’ve learned a lot, I’ve developed well in the league, I’ve grown a lot since when I arrived here in January, I’ve earned things through my hard work, and I’m a player that is more mature now thanks to MLS.”

Of course, Herrera’s time in the Big Apple could be prolonged if NYCFC, Manchester City, and Herrera can all agree to terms. The MLS outfit is, however, not worrying about that at the moment.

“Our only focus is on the game on Sunday,” said NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira. “After, we will have a lot of time to think about how can we improve our roster, how can we keep some players, and how can we allow some players to go, because that’s how it works.”