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Nick Cushing: Andrés Perea brings "Alex Ring-type profile" to midfield

In this exclusive interview, the NYCFC head coach explains what the summer transfers bring to the team.

NYCFC head coach Nick Cushing |

Hudson River Blue spoke with New York City FC head coach Nick Cushing for an exclusive interview at the Etihad City Football Academy training facility in Rockland County, NY ahead of Sunday’s game against Minnesota United. We discussed the signings made in the busiest summer transfer window in club history, what NYCFC need to do to make the playoffs, and how the club had their eye on midfielder Andrés Perea when he was at Orlando City last season.

Note: This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Hudson River Blue: How are you feeling going into Sunday’s game against Minnesota?

Nick Cushing: Disappointed after the Red Bull game, but it gives us an opportunity with the new signings. And a little bit of time to step back and get back into it.

We of course wanted to go through. But the main focus, if we look at the league, was to try and integrate the players that we brought in. We had two plans: One without games, and one with games. I would have liked games, really, because it means we could have advanced. 

HRB: And a chance to work everything out with the new players in a competitive environment, instead of on the training field.

NC: I think the training field gives us obviously more time, and more chances of doing it in detail, but ultimately the games are where it really matters, and the best test. We managed to get a game, which was really important for the new players, but of course, the competitive nature of those games would have been perfect. 

HRB: Let’s talk about the new players. We just ran a post that explained there has never been a summer transfer window like this one in club history. NYCFC tends to take care of business at the beginning of the season, not in the middle. How do you get those players integrated into the team inside a two-week window?

NC: Ultimately, the desire is always to do the business at the start of the year. This was pretty unique in the sense of the cycle of our success — it was impossible for us to keep everybody. We wanted to do the business then, but there were complexities around the amount of players we wanted to bring in. 

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