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No Major League Soccer will be played until March. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to look for among the top clubs.
For supporters of the New York City Football Club, the flame on the “hot stove” has been turned up to “high.”
Former NYCFC coach, Dome Torrent, got the ball rolling when he elected to step down after leading the Bronx crew to the best regular season in its brief history. Torrent had signaled his intentions with his open-ended comments immediately following his team’s “home” playoff defeat to Toronto FC at CitiField.
No replacement has been named, although City Football Group (CFG) employee Giovanni van Bronkhorst has been tipped as the most likely candidate to fill the NYCFC vacancy.
David Lee, and not Claudio Reyna, will be leading the coaching search as the team’s new Sporting Director. Le has been promoted to replace his former boss when Reyna accepted the same job with expansion side Austin FC.
New York City FC made further off the field headlines recently when it was announced that CFG had received a $500 million investment from U.S. private equity firm Silver Lake. The splash of cash fueled as yet unconfirmed speculation surrounding a stadium deal for NYCFC.
On the field, NYC has lost a couple of players via the various peculiarities of MLS rules with fullback Ben Sweat going to Inter Miami FC as the first pick in the league’s Expansion Draft. They also lost fellow fullback Eric Miller when he was selected by Nashville FC in the league’s Re-entry Process.
And in one final bit of draft news, promising goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell, selected by NYCFC in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, left NYCFC for New England in the league’s Waiver Draft.
Caldwell was a part of U.S. teams at the U18, 19, and 20 levels. However, the 23 year-old made just one international appearance for the U20 side.
New York City FC also lost Keaton Parks this off-season. The lanky midfielder returned to Portuguese super club Benfica as his successful one year loan expired.
Like all MLS clubs, New York City FC was required to decline or renew contracts for the upcoming season. Most of the releases were expected, although it was something of a surprise that NYC allowed useful midfielder Ebenezer Ofori to walk.
The club did extend veteran handyman Tony Rocha and signed U.S. U17 World Cup defender Tayvon Gray to a Homegrown contract. Going the other way though was Joe Scally. He was sold to Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach.
The Scally move is a significant one for Major League Soccer, with ESPN reporting that the initial fee is around $2 million, and could climb as high as $7 million if certain performance levels are reached. It is an impressive haul for NYCFC for an academy product who has yet to make his first team debut.
Scally’s professional debut will still likely come with NYC. The 16 year-old will stay with the Bronx based club until January 1st, 2021, allowing Scally to line out with New York through the 2020 MLS season.
The following players are under contract to New York City FC for the 2020 season:
Goalkeeper: Luis Barraza, Sean Johnson, Brad Stuver
Defenders: Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot, Tayvon Gray, Sebastien Ibeagha, Ronald Matarrita, James Sands, Joe Scally, Anton Tinnerholm
Midfielders: Justin Haak, Maxi Moralez, Alex Ring, Tony Rocha, Juan Pablo Torres
Forwards: Valentin Castellanos, Héber, Gary Mackay-Steven, Jesus Medina, Alexandru Mitriță