2018 Season Preview: New York City FC

BRONX, NY - AUGUST 06: Captain David Villa
BRONX, NY - AUGUST 06: Captain David Villa /

After being eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semi-final for the second consecutive year, we look at the 2018 NYCFC squad and predict their fate for the upcoming season.

Finishing their season in disappointing fashion, New York City FC have replaced several members of their roster in an effort to get closer to the ultimate prize. With a new DP in town replacing the aging Andrea Pirlo, now seems as good a time as any for the pigeons to make a legitimate run at MLS cup.

QUEENS, NY – OCTOBER 22: David Villa
QUEENS, NY – OCTOBER 22: David Villa /

Recap of 2017

Redord: 16-9-9 (W-L-D)

Finishing Position: 2nd in MLS2nd in Eastern Conference

Post-Season: 4-3 Aggregate Loss to Columbus Crew in Eastern Conference Semi-final

The boys in blue began their 2017 campaign rolling very well. Earning victories over Seattle, Atlanta, and twice over the Red Bulls proved the teams ability to compete against other big teams.  Things took a turn for the worse towards the season’s conclusion, winning only 1 of their last 7 games.

It seemed as if NYCFC had the second seed in the eastern conference on lock, however they needed a late Sebastian Giovinco free-kick on the final match day to steal a point from Atlanta United and secure City’s bye in the playoffs.

When Columbus Crew got past Atlanta in the playoff’s knockout round, NYCFC fan’s were relieved that they were avoiding the powerhouse in the South. Little did they know that the Crew would bring an equal threat. An early goal from the Crew followed by Alex Callens being sent off lead to a 4-1 loss, which proved to be too much for the Pigeons as their 2-0 win at home in the second leg wasn’t enough to move on.

Transfers OUT: 

More from MLS Multiplex

  • GK – Eirik Johansen (Option declined)
  • D – RJ Allen (Traded to Orlando City)
  • D – Frederic Brillant (Option declined)
  • D – Shannon Gomez (Option declined)
  • D – Jefferson Mena (Option declined)
  • D – Andraz Struna (Option declined)
  • D – Ethan White Option declined)
  • M – Andrea Pirlo (Retired)
  • M – Miguel Camargo (Option declined)
  • M – Mikey Lopez (Option declined)
  • M – John Stertzer (Option declined)
  • M – Jack Harrison (Transferred to Manchester City)
  • F – Sean Okoli (Option declined)
  • F – Khiry Shelton (Traded to Sporting KC)

Transfers IN: 

  • GK – Brad Stuver (Trade from Columbus)
  • D – Saad Abdul-Salaam (Trade from Sporting KC)
  • D – Cedric Hountondji (Free)
  • M – Jesus Medina (Transfer from Libertad)
  • F – Ismael Tajouri (Transfer from Austria Wien)
  • F – Jo Inge Berget (Free)

Predicted Starting XI for Opening Weekend 

2018 Season Predictions:

It wouldn’t be a surprise to me to see NYCFC finish the exact same way as they have in the previous two seasons. Most team’s would be satisfied with a great regular season followed by a run to the Conference semi-final, however the boys in blue shouldn’t. They’ve got rid of dead wood in their roster and have added quality on both ends of the field. If these additions live up to their hype, NYCFC should be able to have their best season to date.

Next: 2018 Season Preview: LA Galaxy

There definitely are a few things that would stop Patrick Vieira’s men from achieving their goals for 2018. First, is the recent departure of winger Jack Harrison. The Englishman shined in Major League Soccer, scoring 14 goals and contributing 13 assists in his two seasons in New York. The question arrises around who will replace the 21 year-old in the starting XI, and whether or not they’ll fill his shoes.

Predicted Finishing Position: 3rd in Eastern Conference