Within the last few days, New York City have been back to business, and wasting little time in their pursuit of a full-strength squad, ahead of the MLS’ March 8 kick off. Where did they travel to pick up their latest new-season signings? Europe.
First to be reported was a loan move for Manchester City youngster Shay Facey, who may be moving on a six month contract, with an extension option.
New York City fans will be relieved to discover that England U-20 player Facey is predominantly a center back, with the ability to plunder forward from full back if the decision is made to play him there. Whatever position Facey lines up in, he brings youthful enthusiasm and a bit of pace to the defence, and can hold his own in the physical stakes too.
In a team that currently lacks defensively, Shay Facey would be another choice at the back and would ease the weight currently burdening Jason Kreis, and will benefit the youngster too, with the prospect of first team experience. The 20-year-old has been plying his trade – impressively, at that – in Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad, breeding ground for City’s brightest young stars, and seems ready to soon make the step up into the team’s senior ranks. Of course, Manchester City don’t have the best record with regards to promoting youth, so this move would be a coup for both NYCFC and Facey alike.
Just as Lampard’s affiliation with Manchester City through New York was utilised to benefit the English side, the opportunity to loan in Man City youngsters is an opportunity that should be hard for Kreis to pass up, whether in pursuit of greater squad depth or a bit of hidden class.
However, it must be noted that at this point this is merely speculation, and may transpire that Facey is currently simply training with NYCFC, with no move being made.
Moving further West, and in a complement to the youth of Facey, NYC have (seemingly) officially picked up 29 year-old Slovakian striker Adam Nemec on a free transfer, following a mutually-agreed contract dissolution between the player and 2.Bundesliga club Union Berlin. Nemec, an old fashioned target man with a penchant for holding up the ball and creating space for those around him, is by no means going to set the MLS alight. In fact, it seems at this stage unlikely Nemec will play very often, provided the skill Villa brings to the table and the youth Pat Mullins has over the Slovakian; but what the big man will provide NYCFC is further backup and competition in the striker position.
With Khiry Shelton, it’s tough to know whether the SuperDraft pick will live up to expectation and be ready immediately for the big time. Should this not be the case, Nemec will prove valuable as a second substitute striker behind Tony Taylor, who may get the nod thanks to more recent playing time and a bit more knowledge of the league (Taylor spent last season at the New England Revolution). Either way, having an experienced player like Nemec on the squad is a definite asset.
Nemec – with an abundance of strength and instinct – is the sort of player that could impact games late on with a converted cross or last-ditch tap in. The striker scored 14 goals in 60 appearances for Union Berlin, all of which were from inside the 18 yard box. As I said before: don’t expect Nemec to set fire to the league, but don’t be surprised if he comes good a few times when you need him most.