On Friday, 7th February, New York City FC announced the signing of Colombian midfielder Javier Calle from Independiente Medellin on a loan deal, with the option to buy at the end of the season. Calle, a former Colombia youth international (representing – and reaching the semi-final of the u-20 World Cup with – his country at youth level), is 23 and therefore still is impressionable enough to adapt to a whole new country and its league’s style of play.
However, he’s anything but inexperienced. Javier Calle made his debut for Independiente Medellin at the age of 17, and following a few loan spells at other Colombian teams, he emerged as a key figure in Medellin’s pursuit of the Colombian Torneo Finalizacion in 2014, in which they were defeated in a toughly-fought 3-2 aggregate set of matches.
So New York City have signed another international player; but who is Javier Calle? Where will he feature in Jason Kreis’ side?
Javier Calle featured heavily for Medellin centrally, but in order to best make use of his pace and trickery, he often drifted out wide and cut in, rarely sticking to a single position, causing a headache for opposition defenders. A player of his type is rarely short on fitness and as a result New York City FC fans should expect nothing less than a midfield livewire ready to take defenders on one on one and fill in opposition defensive gaps to carve out an opportunity.
The 23-year old has a good left foot, and is said to possess the ability to play in a wicked cross to a team’s frontmen when he bursts out wide. Of course David Villa would be more likely to act as a creative partner to Calle than a crossing target, should Khiry Shelton or Adam Nemec ever lead the attack, Jason Kreis could find this asset incredibly handy.
The below video of Javier Calle’s highlights is making the rounds among NYCFC fans, as it appears to be the only video of him on Youtube. It was evidently recorded 20 years ago, shown both by the poor quality and the 90s Euro-rave music blasting in the background.
Although Calle did often play central midfield in his native country, the relatively large number of different central midfielder options New York City have (Ned Grabavoy, Andrew Jacobson, Mix Diskerud among others) could see Calle play further out wide, adding some pace into the team that the likes of Villa and Mix could bring to the attack.
Jason Kreis said of the acquisition, “We are very pleased to bring Javier on board. He is a left-footed, versatile and creative player who I believe will adapt well to MLS and give us some different options in midfield,” going on to say that he is confident “he will continue to develop with us in New York”.
Calle himself said,
“I’m very excited to join such an amazing club and have the opportunity to play for Coach Kreis. I’m looking forward to joining my talented new teammates and my goal is to help New York City FC to succeed as quickly as possible.”
According to NYCFC’s official post on the signing, Calle will be added to New York City FC’s roster for the 2015 season pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate. Per MLS and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.