As the end of the summer transfer window flew by, capped-out New York City FC didn’t announce any signings, though they still could announce some future additions to the squad. As it stands, they have important players returning from injury and are primed to make playoff run this year. Unfortunately, several of NYCFC’s opponents were more aggressive in bolstering their squads. Let’s take a look at the additions their Eastern Conference foes made.
The sixth place Crew added dynamic winger Pedro Santos, while shipping out Ethan Finlay to Minnesota United for $425,000 in allocation money. Santos has the ability to be a Nico Lodeiro type signing, coming into the team mid-season and propelling them to victory. Santos previously played in Portugal as a left winger for S.C. Braga where he scored 18 goals in 76 appearances. He was signed as a Designated Player, and came for a club record fee. They also received $400,000 in allocation money and an international roster spot for Krisztian Nemeth. The Crew will visit Yankee Stadium for October 22’s regular season finale.
The Revs signed winger/forward Nemeth in order to bolster their attack. This move was a little puzzling as they already have a plethora of players at that position. They did, however, add a defender, Claude Dielna. These moves don’t really push them to a playoff position, but NYCFC have to play the Revolution twice more, including this Sunday in the Bronx, and Nemeth could play spoiler.
While D.C. might have had the most exciting transfer window, it is nearly impossible for them to make the playoffs. (Matt Bernhardt has a 0% chance they make it.) New York City are quite fortunate they don’t have to face this revamped United side, as they are much stronger top to bottom. The additions of Russell Canouse, Paul Arriola, Deshorn Brown, Bruno Miranda, and Zoltan Stieber make them capable of winning games against tougher teams. Luckily for the Blues, D.C. still have to play the New York Red Bulls, Atlanta United, Orlando City SC, and the Crew. These games will help NYCFC secure a playoff spot and push for a first round bye.
Orlando City made a huge blockbuster deal, sending allocation money to Sporting Kansas City for forward Dom Dwyer. They also signed Yoshimar Yotún, and traded Luis Gil to the Colorado Rapids for Dillon Powers. These moves will help them play a closer style to what Jason Kreis wants. Depending on how Dwyer and Cyle Larin jell, they could be a lot tougher (or easier) to face.
How these moves affect New York City FC
Sadly, it may be NYCFC’s lack of moves, not their opponents’ transactions, that cause their downfall. They are currently without a backup centerback until Maxime Chanot returns, which forces Fredric Brillant to be playing every game; Brillant is just not an ideal starter for a team that builds up play from the back. New York City also could have used another fullback and wide midfielder. Still, with the Chicago Fire in a downward spiral, NYCFC has every chance to clinch a playoff bye. In the playoffs, however, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to compete with Toronto FC’s current squad. At the very least, they must beat back the injury bug along their back line in order to make a deep playoff run.