In an effort to, as Frank Lampard put it at his introductory press conference, “stay fit ahead of the season,” all of NYCFC’s fledgling roster is on loan to teams both domestically and internationally. Let’s take a look at how they are faring:
Josh Saunders- San Antonio Scorpions [National American Soccer League]
Josh Saunders, NYCFC’s only signed goalkeeper to this point, has had the biggest impact on his loan squad to date.
Saunders’ latest outing ended in the second loss of his Scorpions tenure, as the team fell to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Friday by a score of 2-0. Saunders gave up goals in the 43rd and 79th minutes, while receiving no backing from his own offense.
Saunders has recorded two clean sheets in six appearances, all as a starter, for the NASL heavyweights so far. The Scorpions have a 3-1-2 record since Saunders’ arrival. He has allowed seven goals in those six matches; the Scorpions have scored eight in that span, which is good for a +1 goal differential for Saunders.
Whether NYCFC will sign another goalie remains a mystery. While it seems unlikely that the team would squander its final designated player slot on a keeper, a signing could potentially come from either Manchester City’s youth team or via MLS free agency/ trade. Saunders is doing everything in his power to keep the minds of NYCFC’s front office and head coach focused elsewhere. He is playing like a gifted starter, albeit in a second tier American soccer league.