New York City FC was supposed to be in the midst of their offseason. Players have already gotten into the groove of not playing any matches. Some have already gone on vacation. More importantly, the club already announced the options they picked up and declined for 2024.
Instead, the season is not entirely over. On Friday, NYCFC announced the club will travel to Florida and play against Inter Miami CF in a friendly. The game will take place on Friday, November 10. The premise is to celebrate Lionel Messi and his eighth overall Ballon d'Or. The French award for the best player was announced on Monday, October 30.
NYCFC's choice to play Messi and Miami is interesting
The decision to participate in the friendly, named the Noche d'Or, is an interesting choice from NYCFC. As mentioned, the players were already in their offseason mode. On the other hand, Miami was not, for they were going to play friendlies in China before the matches were canceled. Hence, they were still training despite the fact their MLS season, like the Pigeons, was over.
Plus, NYCFC made some of their roster moves. As a result, they will not have as many players available. Although, since this is a meaningless friendly, Nick Cushing could allow some of the younger Homegrown players and those from the Academy to start or earn minutes.
Understandably, the Herons were clever to take advantage of Messi's Ballon d'Or win. From the NYCFC Front Office perspective, the game is an opportunity to give the club more face time. There is no question that many watch Miami for Messi. As such, maybe there will be someone out there who decides to become a supporter of the Bronx side. Alas, that is not likely.
From the players' perspective, it is not necessarily the best decision. They did not expect this. One would hope they were talked to before agreeing to the game.
Meanwhile, the friendly will mean nothing. Again, maybe a younger player will get an opportunity to prove he should play with the First Team in 2024. Nonetheless, New York City FC has one more match to play. If Inter Miami plays at full strength, then fans can expect a ruthless loss.