With the preseason gone, the 2016 campaign is right around the corner and it’s time to finalize the roster. NYCFC has made over several signings this offseason with the priority to fix their back line, and they continue to do just that
Early Thursday morning, the board decided to bring on defensive right back Shannon Gomez and goalkeeper Andre Rawls. Both were brought on since New York arrived in Puerto Rico and were with the team throughout the preseason.
Gomez, a Trinidad & Tobago senior international player, got to see some crucial minutes for the squad and was signed on a season long loan with the option to purchase him for 2017. At 19 years old, Gomez comes from W Connection and adds depth to Patrick Vieira’s long list of defensemen. On the club’s official site, Vieira talked about the signing of Gomez and seemed happy to have him on board.
“Shannon is a really good surprise. He came on trial and he did really well during preseason. He’s young, he’s got pace and is comfortable on the ball. I think it will take a few months for him to get used to the physicality of MLS, but he’s been really good since he’s been with us and is another great prospect for the future.”
Gomez is a United States resident, so he does not take up any of the international slots on the roster. It’s very unlikely that Gomez will sneak in Vieira’s starting group, but he’s a good rotating player if the Frenchman needs him. We also saw Gomez play upfront a bit which means he’s versatile on the whole right side of the field.
As for Rawls, the name should vaguely familiar with the NYCFC faithful. The 44th overall pick by NYCFC in the 2015 Superdraft has officially signed his first MLS contract with the club. He now joins the veteran Josh Saunders and Erik Johansen, and he will most likely be Vieira’s third string keeper.
Rawls has been with club affiliate the Wilmington Hammerheads since he’s been drafted and started in 22 games. Like Gomez, the 26-year old gives Vieira more depth and a rotating option, and on the club’s official site, Vieira elaborated on his excitement.
“Andre is a promising young goalkeeper that has been in our system for a while now. He did very well for our USL affiliate team Wilmington Hammerheads last season. He knows how we are looking to play and has shown significant improvement throughout our preseason training camp this year. We look forward to continuing to help Andre develop and have him as part of our group.”
The season is two days away and it seems as this may be the final roster moves. Does Vieira and sporting director Claudio Reyna have anything else up their sleeve?