New York City FC: A look back at the 2022 predictions

Jul 9, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York City FC starting eleven pose for a photo before the
Jul 9, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York City FC starting eleven pose for a photo before the / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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After New York City FC won the MLS Cup in 2021, the club and the fans were on a winning high.  There was quite a bit of celebrating, and happiness and joy illuminated amongst everyone involved with the Pigeons.

However, there was a quick turnaround going into the 2022 season.  As such, everyone immediately had to look toward the upcoming campaign.  The future of Valentín Castellanos was up in the air, some players had to be replaced, and there were fans who questioned whether NYCFC could compete for another trophy. 

Hence, over at MLS Multiplex, the realistic 2022 predictions were created for the team.  This included predictions about the players, and even where the Pigeons would finish at the end of the year. 

Now, with the season over, it is time to take a look at those predictions.  Here are the results.

New York City FC; Valentín Castellanos
New England Revolution v New York City FC / Ira L. Black - Corbis/GettyImages

Prediction 3: New York City FC will make a big signing in the summer

During the offseason, there were still questions on the future of Castellanos, and fans did not know whether he would leave New York City FC before the season began.  That being said, it was expected he would leave, either in the winter or summer.  That led to the first prediction: the club would make a big summer signing. 

In fact, it was predicted the club would sign a player to replace Castellanos, either a striker or attacking midfielder, and possibly this player would be a Designated Player.  The idea was that the club would wait until the summer regardless of when the Argentine left due to the increase of options during the summer transfer window. 

Instead, the summer was predominantly quiet for Bronx side.  Castellanos did leave on loan in July, but no one was brought in to replace him.  Instead, Nick Cushing thought either Talles Magno or Héber had the ability play in the center-forward position.  Both ended up sharing the time there, but neither played to the best of their abilities.  Magno proved he is a true winger, and was superiorly better there.  Then, Héber continued to improve his play, but did not return to his first season form with the team.

Additionally, NYCFC did make a Designated Player signing, but that happened in February.  To everyone’s surprise, the club brought in the Brazilian center-back, Thiago Martins.  He was signed as a Designated Player, so he immediately had a tremendous amount of pressure to perform well.  While he progressed well after an awful start, he never performed to the expected top-level. 

Then, the team brought in Gabriel Pereira in March through the U22 initiative.  The young winger had a great first season with the club, and added some goals after Castellanos’ departure.  So while a true striker was never signed, and there was never a big summer splash, Pereira was a vital addition to New York City FC.