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When Andrea Pirlo Departs, NYCFC Need to Embrace the Trend and Sign a Young DP

The rest of league is benefiting from youthful talents. Will the Blues follow suit?

MLS: Portland Timbers at New York City FC
30 year old Maxi Moralez doesn’t quite constitute a youth movement.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, MLS released their post-transfer window summary of the league’s players. Included were a variety of statistics including country of birth of players, and even state/province of birth. One statistic that jumped out to me was the average age of Designated Players. It is decreasing, which is a positive sign for the league. So, I decided to examine how the age of NYCFC’s average DP has compared to the rest of MLS:

NYCFC DP’s Average Age versus the MLS Average

It doesn’t matter that NYCFC have a smaller sample size than much of the rest of the league. Atlanta United, with an even smaller one, have proven that you can rely on youthful designated players (average age: 23.3) and still score plenty of goals: did you know that 24 year old Josef Martinez trails Golden Boot leader David Villa by just three tallies despite having played less than half the number of minutes?

New York City started acquiring “younger” DPs when Maxi Moralez arrived to replace the retiring Frank Lampard; note the drop in average age from 2016 to 2017 on the graph. Still, 30-year-old Maxi doesn’t exactly constitute a sustainable youth movement. With one more designated player spot opening this winter, they should try to sign a Young Designated Player, not just someone young relative to Andrea Pirlo.

What do you think? Should NYCFC go for another veteran, or take the young DP route? Leave your thoughts below.