New York City FC announced today their roster options for the upcoming 2020 season. NYCFC have exercised the contract options of Luis Barraza, Sebastien Ibeagha, Ronald Matarrita, and Brad Stuver. On the other hand, NYCFC declined the roster options of Daniel Bedoya, Jeff Caldwell, Eric Miller, Abdi Mohamed and Ebenezer Ofori. Benfica loan Keaton Parks will also return to the Portuguese club come December 31st.
Out of the three players whose options NYCFC picked up, the trio of Ibeagha, Matarrita, and Stuver played big parts in NYCFC’s historic 2019 season. Luis Barraza is an interesting case. Glen Crooks of WNYE and SirusXMFC hinted at the fact that the club may see big potential in Barraza and that they were afraid he could’ve been taken by Miami or Nashville in the expansion draft. Either way, it’s usually standard to have three goalkeepers on the roster.
Of the roster options that weren’t picked up, Ebenezer Ofori sticks out on the list. The Ghanaian midfielder came over on loan from Stuttgart and played for NYCFC for two seasons. The Patrick Vieira signing played 20 games for the Blues this season, bagging two goals, including the first one of the 2019 campaign vs. Orlando City. Eric Miller joined City this past transfer window from Minnesota United to provide depth at the right back position for City. The versatile defender made 5 appearances for City at both right back and center back position. Bedoya, Cadwell, and Mohammed didn’t make an impact for City at all this last campaign, outside of an Open Cup game for Bedoya.
The one that hurts City the most comes from losing Keaton Parks. Parks came into NYCFC and struggled in the early going under Dome Torrent. As the season progressed, Parks became more comfortable in Dome’s system and became a starter as the club entered the thick of summer. His ability with his feet along with his physicality made him a perfect midfield partner with Alexander Ring. The Texas native ended the season with one goal and one assist for City. NYCFC may still try to bring him back on another loan or a permanent transfer, but after a strong showing on loan he may get an opportunity to boost his USMNT stock with Benfica.
After these roster moves, NYCFC has 21 players on their roster, with their main core still in-tact. There will still be transfers both in and out of the club in the upcoming months, but this is step one in what’s shaping up to be an interesting offseason for the Boys in Blue.