New York City FC will be crossing the pond for preseason training.
The club announced Thursday that it will train for 10 days in February at sister club Manchester City’s soon-to-be-opened City Football Academy, a first team and youth development practice facility located next to City’s Etihad Stadium. Head coach Jason Kreis’ team will play two friendly matches while in Manchester, but the opponents will be announced at a later date.
“We’ve had plenty of time to talk, to research and to plan, so I am absolutely sure that we’re giving ourselves the best possible chance to hit the ground running in MLS,” Kreis told NYCFC.com. “Preseason should be a time to work hard and focus on the season ahead but it should also be fun, it needs to be a balance of both. Bringing a roster together for the first time is a challenge and I’m pleased we have such a great preseason planned to help us do that.”
One of the bigger challenges facing Kreis is the uncertainty surrounding when Designated Player Frank Lampard, who is currently on loan at Manchester City, will join NYCFC. New York brass have insisted that Lampard will join the expansion outfit in time for the start of preseason, but Manchester City head coach Manuel Pellegrini has already indicated that all parties will meet and make a decision this month on whether or not to extend Lampard’s loan deeper into the English Premier League season.
It’s unclear whether or not NYCFC’s preseason plans will have an effect on the decision regarding the 36-year-old Lampard, who has five goals and four assists in all competitions for City this season.
NYCFC will begin their first preseason Jacksonville, Fla., from January 24-February 2 before departing for England on Feb. 6. The club will return to the States on Feb. 16, concluding preseason in Charleston, S.C. at the annual Carolina Challenge Cup preseason tournament, which will run from February 19-March 1.