Before the 2023 season began for New York City FC, there were questions about who would wear the captain’s armband. Here at Skyscraper Blues, Maxime Chanot was the obvious choice. As such, it was not a surprise when he wore the armband for the first few games.
However, Nick Cushing declared that the captainship would be shared amongst the players, and there would not be one official captain. Instead, James Sands officially took over and wore the armband for the majority of the season in games he was available for.
Then, Sands departed for the Gold Cup, and Chanot resumed being NYCFC’s captain. It did not matter who wore the band, for the results have not been in the Pigeons’ favor this season.
Maxime Chanot should be the captain for NYCFC
In all honesty, Sands seemed to do a good job as the NYCFC captain. His leadership, while young, is illuminant on the pitch. Yet, the veteran Chanot is someone who has put his blood, sweat, and tears on the pitch for this club. His leadership is louder, and he is more likely to direct his teammates during a match.
In some ways, it is hard to describe comparing Chanot to Sands as captain. There is just something there from the center-back that alludes he is in charge, but also someone his teammates can look to and look up to. In fact, while Sands was away on international duty, it felt like there was a captain on the pitch. Sadly, the American midfielder does not signify that feeling.
Moreover, Chanot has been with NYCFC for seven years. Just recently, the club celebrated the anniversary of his signing. He is the longest-tenured player with the team, and out of the veterans, he has the largest veteran presence.
Therefore, he should be the captain for the rest of the season. Sands is without doubt a leader, but Chanot is the leader of the team. He should be the lone captain, and the younger NYCFC star should be the vice-captain. Of course, if Chanot prefers to hand the captain’s armband off, then that is another story. Plus, if there was a player vote that was unknown to the public, then that is also another story.
Still, Chanot is one of those players that literally wears the crest of the club with pride and joy. He is New York City FC through and through, as is Sands. But his history, veteran presence, and the leadership he illuminates on and off the pitch are all reasons why he should be the captain for the rest of 2023.