UPDATE 11:04 AM -- NEW YORK CITY FC CONFIRMS ANDREA PIRLO AS THIRD DESIGNATED PLAYER:
Andrea Pirlo (@Pirlo_official) to Join #NYCFC as Third Designated Player: https://t.co/jeZZLEJ6Xm #WelcomePirlo— New York City FC (@NYCFC) July 6, 2015
#NYCFC signs @Pirlo_official: http://t.co/h12SmW2MQI #WelcomePirlo pic.twitter.com/T2kCqkGviL— New York City FC (@NYCFC) July 6, 2015
Pirlo will be available for selection when officially joins the team July 21st. Here's the official statement from the club:
New York City FC are delighted to announce the signing of World Cup and UEFA Champions League winner Andrea Pirlo. One of the most decorated and respected midfielders in soccer, Pirlo will become the team’s third Designated Player and arrives to New York City FC on a free transfer from Juventus, 2015 UEFA Champions League Finalists.
Pirlo joins the Club on July 21 and will be available for selection immediately following that. Pirlo teams up with fellow Designated Players: David Villa, a World Cup and UEFA Champions League winner, and UEFA Champions League winner Frank Lampard completing a decorated international trio, who have had a huge impact on European soccer for over a decade.
In an exclusive interview with NYCFC.com, Pirlo said:
"I have been wanting this experience for a long time and now that the opportunity materialized I wanted to take it. This is a Club on the rise and shares my same hunger to achieve important results in the League. I am hoping to win."
Christmas in July? A real thing.
First, Frank Lampard and Andoni Iraola were confirmed to make their debuts this Saturday in the Bronx against Toronto. Today, Italian champions Juventus announced that Andrea Pirlo has been released from his contract and is free to execute the Big Move that's been mounting for weeks.
That's right, ye Railers, ye Ladies in Blue, Oakies, Brown Baggers, ye Templados, and everyone in between: the Pirlo Party is officially coming to New York.
We're still waiting for the proper announcement from the club, but here's today's statement from Juventus:
Andrea Pirlo has ended his magnificent four-year stay at Juventus after officially completing move to MLS outfit New York City.
It has been an honour and a privilege to have shared these four fantastic seasons with Andrea and all associated with Juventus Football Club wish him the very best for the future.
Thanks for everything, Maestro, and good luck.
So, will the deep-lying long ball wizard be available for selection this weekend? It may not be the very best thing for this team to start all three high-profile newbies in the same game, especially with this squad finally starting to figure out its business on the field after months of gritty jockeying.
But the allure is impossible to ignore.
Iraola slides right in at right back. Sorry, R.J. Allen. Lampard has plenty of room to work with Mix Diskerud off on USA Gold Cup duty. That makes Pirlo the wild card here.
So, how about an entrance befitting a magician such as himself?
David Villa can pull him out of a hat.
Don't act like this isn't possible. This is New York, and it's newest team's newest signings -- along with its tantalizing run of form -- are proof-positive that nothing is precisely impossible anymore.
Stay tuned to Hudson River Blue for more updates!