NYCFC: The emergence of RJ Allen


The right full back position has been a problem for New York City F.C. and after Andoni Iraola‘s injury prone body, no one could solidify the position. Last season, NYCFC left it up to 18-year old Angelino and did a decent job.

However this year, that position solely belongs to RJ Allen as his recent emergence has caught the eyes of Patrick Vieira. The New Jersey native has had an impressive run this year with seven starts, more than half from last year.

He scored his first career goal this past April against the Montreal Impact and was named Player of the Month for May. It’s safe to say that Allen won’t be hitting the bench anytime soon.

With newcomer Ronald Matarrita on the other side, Vieira’s full backs are a threat to every opponent, especially on the attack. Allen’s explosiveness has become beneficial to Vieira and the rest of the NYCFC squad.

With Federico Bravo injured, it might take some time for him to get back in the swing of things, so Iraola will occupy the defensive midfield position. With Iraola already in, the right back spot is all Allen’s and rightly so.

In recent games, the 26-year old has played a crucial part to some goals, especially in the last match. NYCFC’s first goal against the Philadelphia Union all started with Allen and his powerful run up the field.

Grabbing the ball in own half, Allen was able to power through the right side and cross it to Thomas McNamara who then found Frank Lampard who ultimately scored.

If there’s one aspect of his defense that Vieira doesn’t have to worry about–it’s his fullbacks.