Across the Pond: Pre-season, transfers and small wins.

[in Across the Pond, I discuss the European/Dutch perspective about the MLS and NYCFC]

NYCFC, Ronald Mataritta

Yes, in 2 weeks we can go back to our flatscreen, LSD, mega-TV’s or our favorite bar to watch the game against Chicago Fire.

Chicago Fire was on Rock Bottom last year, number 20 aka the last one. But don’t underestimate them this year!

They brought some new meat in the team, one of them is Dutch (yeey) Kappelhof. Kappelhof has been a great addition to FC Groningen the past few years and a new club maybe light up his fire again. (you get it ”fire”?)

But NYCFC hasn’t sit still either. We brought new, fresh, young defenders on our team, and an experienced one: Brillant, Martinez, White, Mataritta. Plus two new defending midfielders: Bravo {on loan} and Mikey Lopez. And let’s not forget Jack Harrison. Jack Harrison has played in the youth of Manchester United -good he left, it’s a mess over there- and he came to the US just for college.

But okay, we have new defenders, but can they bring us to the play-offs? Yes, but they won’t bring us far, in my opinion.

It’s great NYCFC has seen the problem of last year and made some improvements. But one pre-season or even one season can’t make the entire defence an unbreakable force. Besides, no offence, but we still have Pirlo and Lampard. I saw the match against Montréal and Pirlo just walked over the field. It’s questionable to think he doesn’t care or that there’s nothing left in the tank. Lampard needs to step up, why can you play a very good first half year at Manchester City and the second half you play under the expectation at NYCFC. Maybe a lack of competition?

But overall, the Eastern Conference is going to be a battlefield. New England is always steady and haven’t changed much in there selection. Same for Toronto. Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union strengthen themselves with some decent new players. Columbus Crew is still great, and DC United will probably be exciting again. Orlando City bought Nocerino who has always been a great player at AC Milan. New York Red Bulls, does great with bringing more youth in their squad. NYCFC is comparable to a chemical experiment where you don’t know the outcome of: either an explosion or small reaction. But definitely play-off worthy.

At the Western Conference is no real excitiment. LA Galaxy got some great players, like Cole (Chelsea, AS Roma), De Jong (Ajax, Man City, HSV, AC Milan) and Van Damme (Ajax), who have all been great at these former clubs. And don’t forget they still have Dos Santos, Keane and Gerrard. Seattle did great with pulling in Morris. So in my opinion LA or Seattle are going to get the Supporter Shield this year. I expect LA to be unstopable. NYCFC has the material to get some silver. At least they need to get the Kendrick Lamar US Open Cup.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

And to say goodbye, what better way to do it in Dutch: Bedankt en tot ziens!

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