New York City FC had a busy secondary transfer window. Tony Alfaro was traded to the LA Galaxy, Gabriel Pereira had his shocking departure to Qatar, and Valentín Castellanos made his expected move to Europe. In addition, Alexandru Mitriță returned to Romania. However, the team did not acknowledge his move; he is still listed on the team roster.
Then, the Pigeons brought in six players via move or loan, including the crucial striker signing. Mounsef Bakrar, Birk RIsa, Andrés Perea, Julián Fernández, Alonso Martínez, and Maxi Moralez were all brought to the club for the final matches of 2023 and beyond. Bakrar is their much-needed striker, Perea and Moralez help solidify the midfield, Risa enhances the center-back position and will fight for a starting role, and Fernández and Martínez will battle it out to replace Pereira.
The summer additions are a big help for NYCFC. It is expected they will impact the final ten games of the Major League Soccer season. There will be growing pains, but at least this will help the once questionable depth issue. A few of these players will also enhance the Starting XI.
The NYCFC summer signings occurred too late for success in 2023
However, the signings are unfortunately too late. It is highly unlikely NYCFC will be able to make up ground.
Why will it be difficult to make up ground, finish mid-table, and make the playoffs? The answers are simple: chemistry and the ten games remaining.
Chemistry is not developed overnight. Yes, NYCFC had the last few weeks to grow the player relationships. Although, games are needed to grow the chemistry on the pitch.
If the break for the Leagues Cup did not happen when it did, and the team was already playing games in Major League Soccer again, then making up ground would be possible. The Pigeons would need to have almost half of the season to go. As known, that is not the case.
The new players, except for Moralez, will also need time to adjust to the team's tactics. It is rare players automatically fit right in with their new team. Even Bakrar will still need more time.
There is one positive though. The new players, with the exception of Perea, who is on loan from the Philadelphia Union, will aid in the preparations for 2024. There will be plenty of work to do in the offseason and preseason. Yet, the new players mean less work will be needed in roster building for the next season.
It is clear a miracle is needed for there to be any success in 2023. The signings will help, but it is hard to see a path to the playoffs based since there are ten matches left. Plus, New York City FC is in 13th place in the Eastern Conference. Hence, the new players arrived too late.