They are now in their second season in MLS. They have a new coach but two established superstars who are hungry for trophies. They drew 30,315 fans to their home opener this past Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. They are New York City Football Club (NYCFC) and here are five reasons they will go further than their inaugural season.
NUMBER #1: FAMILIARITY
NYCFC are not an expansion team anymore. They are more familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of MLS. They know each other better after one season under their belts. That automatically will make them five games better.
NUMBER # 2: YANKEE STADIUM
NYCFC plays their best in the Stadium that Steinbrenner built. It is an intimidating atmosphere for visitors. No matter what their record last year from start to finish, they drew outstanding numbers and fan support. They continued into this season with over 30,000 appearing in their home opening draw.
NUMBER #3: DAVID VILLA
The former World and European Cup champion is settled in his second season in New York and already has shown it with two goals in the Yankee Stadium opener that put them ahead 2-0 early on. David Villa should have a breakout season. He also has a worthy partner in Italian Andrea Pirlo.
NUMBER #4: ANDREA PIRLO
This former World and European Cup champion, played late last season but the experience was useful going into this season. Andrea Pirlo should be more effective with his passes and partnership with David Villa will be too much for most defenses to cope.
NUMBER #5: COACHING
There was nothing wrong per se with former coach Jason Kreis. But the quiet stress shown on his face reflected the frustration of a man who could not get the maximum out of his team. Patrick Vieira, is coming off a head coaching position with the Manchester City Football Club Elite Development Squad. Also as a former captain of World Cup champion France in 1998, he is a teacher and well experienced enough to get the best out of this team.
The early returns look good thus far as NYCFC defeated the Chicago Fire 4-3 on the road and held on to a 2-2 tie with Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium.