New York City FC: Three options to sign for the 2022 season

PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 11: New York City FC players celebrate winning the 2021 MLS Cup after a game between New York City FC and Portland Timbers at Providence Park on December 11, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 11: New York City FC players celebrate winning the 2021 MLS Cup after a game between New York City FC and Portland Timbers at Providence Park on December 11, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /
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The 2022 season for New York City FC will be here sooner rather than later.  Preseason begins in mid-January, and the team will play their first competitive match on February 15 in the first game of the CONCACAF Champions League.  Despite winning the MLS Cup less than a month ago, the club has to go into high gear to get ready for the upcoming year.

At this moment, NYCFC already parted ways with the likes of Jesús Medina and Gudmundur Thórarinsson.  Then, fan favorite Ismael Tajouri-Shradi was taken in the expansion draft and traded to Los Angeles FC.  Plus, James Sands was just loaned out to Rangers F.C. in Scotland, rightfully earning the move across the pond.  All four were vital to the MLS Cup run, and then it is expected that Valentín Castellanos will be sold in 2022 too.  If that wasn’t enough, the team parted with Tony Rocha and Juan Pablo Torres.

Hence, the Pigeons will have to make signings this winter, and likely throughout the season.  Yes, it is expected Talles Magno and Thiago will have bigger roles after the departures, and fortunately Maxi Moralez will be returning for at least one more year.  Still, the team has to bring in new players, and hopefully ones that can make an immediate impact.

So, here are three possible players that New York City FC can sign for the 2022 season.

Kwaku Oduroh
ENFIELD, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 04: Kwaku Oduroh of Manchester City during the Premier League 2 match between Tottenham Hotspur U23 and Manchester City U23 at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on December 04, 2021 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images) /

NYCFC need to move forward with signing new players this off-season

3. Kwaku Oduroh of Manchester City FC

For the most part, it would be helpful for New York City FC to sign a few defenders in the offseason, whether to specifically act as back-ups or to compete with the usual starters.  The team is desperately thin at the right-back position due to Anton Tinnerholm’s injury, for Tayvon Gray is the only true right-back available.

Therefore, NYCFC should use their relationship with Manchester City FC, and attempt to sign a right-back on loan.  More specifically, the club should bring in Kwaku Oduroh, even if only for the first part of the season.  The English-Ghanaian player is a true right-back, and has some experience playing in other defensive positions too.

While Gray proved he can fill in for Tinnerholm, it would be concerning if he was to go down injured and leave the Pigeons without a healthy right-back.  The club needs to have another one on their roster, and Oduroh would be a fantastic option.  He predominantly plays with the U23 side, known as the Elite Development Squad, or the EDS team, and has made multiple appearances.

Although, Oduroh has yet to solidify himself as the starting right-back this year, and there seems to be quite a bit of rotation at that position.  He also has under 400 minutes in the Premier League 2, where the EDS side competes.  He could use more minutes under his belt, for most of the starters have around 1,000 minutes or more.  NYCFC would not only give him the opportunity to compete for minutes, but allow the competition for Gray.

Clearly, Manchester City recognizes Oduroh’s talent, for they promoted him to the EDS squad after leading his U18 PL team to a championship last season.  The 19 year old still has to grow as a player, which is why playing first team minutes would be beneficial for him.  Plus, the NYCFC style of play is similar to how Manchester City plays in their first team and academies.  Both stress the attacking possession style, with some differences here and there.

Also, Oduroh is not only a good defender, but his pace and acceleration ability would facilitate him with moving into the attack, which is what Ronny Deila prefers from his full-backs.  He could improve his attacking skills though, and playing with NYCFC would help.

Surely the Pigeons know they need a right-back to compete with Gray, and at least until Tinnerholm returns from injury.  Unfortunately, it looks like the usual starter will be out for the majority of the 2022 season, so Gray cannot be left alone.  Bringing in another young and talented player on loan, like Oduroh, would be a smart decision by the New York City FC front office, and they should consider such a move.