There have rarely been expansion teams instantly capable of competing for the playoffs, but rarely are expansion teams run by City Football Group.
And as Manchester City battled for its UEFA Champions League life in Rome, a fellow City Football Group team was strengthening its roster through the Major League Soccer expansion team draft.
And they did it very, very well.
[ MLS: Expansion draft results ]
Already boasting a respected MLS head coach in Jason Kreis and Designated Players Frank Lampard and David Villa, NYCFC added to its roster — in our opinion — in a better fashion than Orlando City.
NYCFC picked up Ned Grabavoy from Real Salt Lake with its first pick, grabbing the sort of mucker than will do every little thing needed to win. And with their second pick the club nabbed 2014 first-round pick Patrick Mullins from New England.
Then they went with a trio of calculated risks before going back to the veteran pool. New York snared Mehdi Ballouchy from Vancouver and Sal Zizzo from Sporting KC. They took one time “next big thing” George John from FC Dallas and, as if to add insult to injury, picked up Chris Wingert from Real Salt Lake in the final round.
Between Kreis and NYCFC big wig Claudio Reyna, there have been a lot of matches watched in preparing for this debut season. And let’s not forget that NYCFC has already expressed a desire to add another offensive DP.
With tremendous foresight and a solid offseason, they should be competitive almost immediately in the East. And with respect to Eric Alexander and Dax McCarty, considering that Thierry Henry left the Red Bulls and both Bradley Wright-Phillips and Tim Cahill’s futures are up in the air, is it wrong to assert that NYCFC could be the better New York team in the new club’s first season?