Claudio Reyna -- close up -- NYCFC
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Reyna says NYCFC looking to add two players in transfer window

NEW YORK — New York City FC sporting director Claudio Reyna left little doubt as to the club’s intentions during the recently opened Secondary Transfer Window

NYCFC have the funds and they’re going shopping. 

“We’re hopeful to add two players in the window that will strengthen the team in certain areas we feel we need strengthening,” Reyna said Friday afternoon. “The window just opened so we’re quietly working behind the scenes to add to the squad.”

The most pressing need both former head coach Patrick Vieira and current head coach Dome Torrent identified is a replacement for Yangel Herrera, who is out for the season following ankle surgery. 

There is no like-for-like sub on the current roster for a player in Herrera who has the tactical acumen, the strength and tackling ability that made him an elite No. 8

Although Herrera’s salary doesn’t come off NYCFC’s books, the international slot he occupied opens up, which should aid in the club’s search. 

Torrent previously indicated the need for center back depth, though the club could also look for additions at left back or even at forward. 

But, Reyna cautions, the club has to delicately balance going all-in financially during this window and having the necessary funds for the winter. 

“Any decision has an impact short and long term so we’re working through that as well, to make sure that we strengthen the team, but at the same time leave some money for next year as well so we can even get stronger,” Reyna said. “The team is in second place, is doing really well, but we understand and feel we need to add players and we’re confident we’ll add two in this window.”

Reyna said he’s pleased with where NYCFC is currently, just three points behind Atlanta United in the Supporters’ Shield race with a game in hand. And he said the club, as currently constructed, is absolutely an MLS Cup contender. 

But there’s always room for improvement. 

“From the beginning of the year if you asked me the question I would say the same thing, I see our team and they can play with anybody,” Reyna said. “We’ve done it this year, been a little bit unfortunate with our health, but whenever we’ve had some injuries or suspensions, guys have stepped up. I think the goal for the second half of the season is to continue working game by game, improve our away form if possible a little bit. I think that’s one area I think we’ve let ourselves down.”

Reyna is also pleased with the future of NYCFC, touting the club’s first champion as NYCFC ousted LA Galaxy on penalty kicks to win the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s Under-18/19 championship in Kansas City earlier this week. 

The core of that team, Reyna said, has been together since they were 12 and 13 years old. 

“We’re very strong on the culture we build and the players we’re developing,” Reyna said. “We won in the right way and that’s what we’re very satisfied with and we’re so proud as a club to win a trophy in our first full Academy season, our first year in that age group, the youngest team in the country.”