The New York City FC rumor mill continues to churn as the decision surrounding Frank Lampard is delayed until February, and Xavi has made public that it took a phone call from the Barcelona president to keep him from joining the club. Now, famed AS Roma and Italian national team midfielder Daniele De Rossi is considering a move to NYCFC or the New York Red Bulls.
From NYCFC’s perspective, the case for bringing De Rossi is clear and strong. Lampard and De Rossi at midfield, punctuated by World Cup winner David Villa, another who could still have played European soccer, present a tremendous force to open the club’s inaugural season in the MLS.
De Rossi’s comfort with and love for New York may help explain why he would move to the MLS at 31, still young enough that he could almost certainly move to a different European club. He is by no means a stranger to the United States, and spends time in America at his vacation home. According to Empire of Soccer, De Rossi has visited New York more than 20 times and loves the city.
There is, however, at least one twist to a De Rossi move; if he leaves Serie A, he wants to go out on top. According to Football Italia, De Rossi’s move is contingent on whether Roma win the Scudetto. This stipulation doesn’t appear to be a far-fetched one; at the time of publishing, Roma sit in second behind Juventus by three points in the Serie A table. Note that De Rossi threatened to leave Roma two years ago, but stayed after the club lost to Lazio in the 2012-2013 Coppa Italia final.
Until the Serie A season has concluded, this all remains speculation. Yet, at a minimum, De Rossi’s statement speaks well for American soccer and the increasing draw of the MLS.