It has been a busy winter for NYC FC. The club let several players from its inaugural team walk and brought in seven new players this off-season with various backgrounds and skill sets.
You may be familiar with our new signings at this point, but, in all likelihood, you haven’t seen many of them play in competitive matches. That’s not a referendum on your fandom - I’m just betting you don’t follow the Belgian Pro League, know where to find illegal streams of Costa Rican football, or caught Atlantic Coast Conference matches.
That’s okay, because I haven’t seen our new guys play much either. As the signings started rolling in, I found the only way I could do any sort of new player "scouting" was to watch youtube highlights, which, for the record, can make anybody look good.
In light of this, I bring you an NYC FC new signings preview based solely off of FIFA ‘16 stats. My goal is for us to "learn" a bit about our new players and provide a mock scouting report of how they might contribute to our squad. So, without further ado:
Federico Bravo, 64 Overall
CM - On loan from Boca Juniors
Bravo is a 21-year old who comes to us from Boca Juniors, where he featured infrequently for the Argentine giants. The 64 overall rated player gets two stars from the game for his weak foot and his skill moves. His strengths are in his athleticism and stamina, and he’s an above average defender for a center midfielder. Unfortunately, the game is not kind to his offensive game, especially in his finishing and his dribbling.
Bravo is best suited as deep-lying, defensive-minded midfielder that has the potential to be a solid all-around player. Today, he is still very much a project player that can contribute off the bench when called on to do so.
One final note: we did this just the other day:
Frederic Brillant, 66 Overall
CB - Signed from K.V. Oostende
Frederic is our oldest signing by a wide margin, coming in at 30 years old. He came off the bench primarily for Oostende in the Belgian Pro League, making only 11 total appearances in his final campaign with the team. The three star weak foot and two star skill move Frenchman excels defensively when he doesn’t need to run or mark faster, more athletic players. When he has to handle more agile players, Federic struggles to keep up and can get burned easily on counter attacks.
Frederic is a capable, albeit slow and aging center back who can make the tackle or be physical when necessary, but has trouble marking faster, more skilled players.
Jack Harrison, 61 Overall
CM/CAM - 1st overall pick in 2016 MLS SuperDraft
Jack is our youngest signing, coming in at only 18 years after going one-and-done at Wake Forest. FIFA graces Jack with four star weak foot ability and three star skill moves despite his somewhat low overall rating. The game hands Jack some midfield speed, allowing him to play out wide, and also gives the young England native good ball skills. He will, however almost always be out-muscled in the midfield and struggles if called on to defend.
A promising young player who, in this writer’s opinion, should have been given a higher game rating, Jack is versatile in the midfield. He is especially good in an offensive role, but struggles to take defenders on, finish, or mark players out wide. He’s still loads of fun to bring on in the game, especially as a sub against a tired squad.
Mikey Lopez, 61 Overall
CM - Signed off waivers from Sporting KC
Mikey is a 21-year old midfielder who made six appearances for Kansas City last year. He is pacey and moves around the pitch very well. He defends aggressively to counteract his small frame and his lack of strength, but can be shaky on the ball in traffic. He has loads of stamina though, which gives him some extra life late in matches when other players are gassed.
Mikey can put in a commendable effort for the full 90, but is limited by his skill set and therefore rarely makes a major impact in games.
Diego Martinez, 68 Overall
LB/LM - Signed from River Plate
Diego is only 22 but comes in as our best signing at 68 overall. He gets two stars for both categories and is a pacey two-way player. The Argentine doesn’t get high marks for any one part of his game, but is balanced and capable of defending out wide and contributing to the attack. He can struggle a bit to position himself and mark effectively, and is best served as an attack-minded left back.
An immediate contributor when inserted into the line-up, Diego has a solid all-around game and is a versatile defender out wide on the left.
Ronald Matarrita, 63 Overall
LB - Signed from Alajuelense
An exciting, young signing, 21-year old Ronald Matarrita previously started at left back for Alajuelense in Costa Rica. The two star player is our speediest signing and, according to FIFA, is even faster than Khiry Shelton. The Costa Rican can join in on the attack and contribute, as evidenced by his lofted cross to Mix for the game winner against Reykjavik FC, but is rated as an below-average defender, and can be exploited as a result.
Matarrita can take it to defenders on the wing with his speed, especially with overlapping runs. The young player struggles in one-on-one defending and lacks aggression in the air. That being said, he’s fast and fun to play with in FIFA, and can impact the game in the attacking third.
Ethan White, 66 Overall
CB - Signed from Philadelphia Union
Ethan comes to NYC FC from the Union, where he made 28 appearances in two seasons. FIFA hands Ethan three stars on his weak foot and two for his skill moves. He is a strong defender, much like Brillant, and holds his ground well. Unlike Brillant, Ethan struggles to position himself effectively, is shaky on the ball, and has little hope of lasting a full match.
Best suited coming off the bench, Ethan can defend when he needs to. Strangely the 24-year old is given awful stamina and, as a result, gets tired too easily for a centre back and can be taken advantage of late in games.
Who is your favorite new signing to play with in FIFA '16? Matarrita? Harrison? Let us know in the comments thread!