NYCFC News

Potential Players That Could Still Join New York City

By Michael Schwartz
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With only 23 days left before New York City take on Orlando at the Citrus Bowl, there are still potential players that could join the team for the inaugural season.

New York City currently has two players still on trial that might join the club on a permanent basis in Francisco Martinez and Pablo Alvarez.

Fran Martinez

19 year-old center back Fran Martinez came on in the second half during the club’s first ever preseason match against St. Mirren on Tuesday. He has been training with the club since January when the roster was in Jacksonville, Florida.

Martinez may potentially join New York City from CA Osasuna who last year were relegated from La Liga. Martinez has played for Real Murcia in the third division of Spanish league football called Segunda Division B. Martinez was also a member of Valenica’s reserve team, Valenica Mestalla, who also play in Segunda Division B. Martinez is a versatile defender that can play as a center-half or as a left back.

Against St. Mirren, Martinez was able to pass well from defense and get forward into midfield at times. He produced a great long pass from midfield for Tony Taylor who should have scored his second goal of the match.

He performed well against St. Mirren and must likely be impressive against Brondby in order to earn a place on the roster.

Pablo Alvarez

34-year-old Spanish midfielder Pablo Alvarez is a free agent that has been on trial with New York City since the Jacksonville training sessions. After being a right midfielder for most of his career, Alvarez more recently switched to a central role after losing some of his pace. Alvarez had a long career in Spanish football playing for Sporting de Gijón, Deportivo La Coruna, Racing Santander, CD Lugo and UP Langreo.

A former teammate of David Villa’s from their early days with Sporting de Gijón, Alvarez is a veteran player that could provide cover in the midfield during the upcoming season. As a second half substitute against St. Mirren, Alvarez linked up well with others and proved to be a capable set-piece taker.

He delivered some great balls into the box and showed that he can still take on defenders despite his age. Alvarez also demonstrated against St. Mirren that he can shoot from distance. The Spaniard will need to put on another strong showing against Brondby in order to make the roster.

In terms of other potential additions, Coach Jason Kreis rekindled the possibility that New York may still take up to four players on loan from Manchester City. “Individually I have a lot of interest in bringing some Man City players over on loan because I think it would be a cool thing,” said Kreis. It would be great for a young coach like myself to be involved with the development of a young Manchester City talent. There are some players who we have looked at it but it needs to be a good fit. We won’t do it just to do it. Any player who we do loan needs to bring something to our team.”

Skyscraper Blues already proposed a number of players that could be taken on loan back in November. Here now is an updated list of players from Manchester City’s Elite Development System that might join New York City on loan.

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Shay Facey

After initially expecting that Facey was not going to join New York City, the young Mancunian ended up starting against St. Mirren as a center back. He played well in the opening 45 minutes before being subbed off after halftime.

Facey has appreciated his time with New York City and indicated that he’s learning under a similar style to what City’s Elite Development System utilizes.

“The style is very similar to what I’m used to at City too, because Jason likes to have lots of possession and pass out from the back a lot – which is really helpful for me,” said Facey. “What Jason asks us to do is not too alien to anybody so everyone’s catching on to it and I think it’s working well, playing that style of football.”

Against St. Mirren, Facey showed that he’s adept at passing from the back-line which was vital for the team in terms of maintaining possession. Forming a good partnership with Andres Mendoza, Facey impressed defensively in terms of his tacking, blocking, and heading abilities.

While reportedly trying to recover from an injury, Facey will look to play well again against Brondby. The Englishman could be a quality addition as an athletic defender that covers plenty of ground and passes well.

Jack Byrne

A midfield orchestrator with creative vision, young Irish midfielder Jack Byrne has excelled with Manchester City’s reserves. A combative, quick passer that sets up attackers, retains possession, and retrieves the ball from opponents, Byrne has garnered acclaim from many including EDS coach and soccer legend Patrick Viera.

Byrne has also been impressive playing for his country after winning Ireland’s Under 17 International Player of the Year Award in March 2014. Byrne could further develop his technical and tactical skills under Kreis as he’s a difference maker in the center of the pitch.

Mathias Bossaerts

A strong center-back that came from Anderlecht’s academy (the same academy Vincent Kompany came from), Mathias Bossaerts is a gifted young talent. Besides being a natural defender, Bossaerts prides himself on being a distributor from the back rather than just hoofing the ball up the pitch. Able to assist the team in maintaining possession, Bossaerts could fit in seamlessly with the style New York City is looking to incorporate.

Thierry Ambrose

A capable finisher, Thierry Ambrose is a young French forward that Manchester City acquired after he played well for Auxerre’s youth system. A versatile attacker who can line up as a forward or an attacking midfielder, Ambrose has already been featured in the youth levels for his country. Ambrose is another forward that New York City could consider adding to their roster before March.

George Glendon

Having played for every age level for Manchester City, it’s fair to say that midfielder George Glendon has worked his way up the system. An adroit passer, Glendon describes himself as being to operate in tight, congested positions. Small but physically powerful, Glendon maintains possession through displaying admirable work rate and stamina. Able to score goals as well, Glendon is another young prospect that New York City should consider in the pass-heavy philosophy that Kreis will utilize.

Ashley-Smith Brown

An England youth international that can be used as a fullback, wingback, or midfielder, Ashley-Smith Brown can make valuable contributions on both ends of the pitch. An agile dribbler that is flexible enough to take on multiple responsibilities, Brown played regularly for the England u18 team during the 2013/14 season. He could be used by New York on the left side where there aren’t many options outside of Chris Wingert and Connor Brandt.

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Olivier Ntcham

A powerful midfielder that can be used in the center or on the wings, French youngster Olivier Ntcham could make quite an impression in New York. Able to shoot from distance and showing good balance, Ntcham rose through the youth levels of the French national team. Making 21 appearances for the EDS squad last season, Ntcham has made a strong impact with Manchester City’s reserves unit.

He’s a pretty good finisher as well…

Brandon Barker

Like George Glendon, Brandon Barker is another City lifer having been with the club since he was eight years old. The 2013/14 Academy Players’ Player of the Year tallied 13 goals in 32 appearances for the u18 team last season. Barker is a speedy winger that dribbles and crosses well. A regular for the England u18 team, Barker could create havoc in MLS with New York.

Jose Angel Tasende

Jose Angel Tasende, a.k.a Angelino, is a Spanish left-back that started playing for the u21 side before his 17th birthday. A quick, attacking fullback that can provide quality crosses, New York City could use the talented defender considering Wingert’s age and Brandt’s inexperience as a left-back. A dead-ball specialist that can take corners and free kicks, Angelino could turn heads in the Big Apple.

Denzeil Boadu

A fast, technically-skilled central attacking midfielder that plays well behind forwards, Denzeil Boadu was first with Arsenal’s youth system before joining Manchester City’s. Primarily able to maintain possession and set up goal-scoring opportunities, Boadu also scored seven goals for City’s u18 team last season. With New York City, Boadu could further develop his skills and become more versatile in the attacking third of the pitch.

Kean Bryan

A young English midfielder that has played well for club and country, Kean Bryan is a skilled midfielder that can play well on both ends of the field. Bryan’s form has resulted in appearances for the England u16 and u17 squads. A creative passer that can take charge of a match, Bryan could fit in seamlessly with the possession-oriented style shared by Manchester City and New York City.

Next: NYCFC Very Sharp in Preseason Opener; Sign of Things to Come?

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