On Saturday, New York City FC will head to Houston to take on Houston Dynamo FC. Despite the fact they are playing during the international window, the Pigeons will have the majority of their squad. The only exception is the main captain: Maxime Chanot.
Now, there was no official announcement from Nick Cushing and the club regarding the captaincy of Chanot. Rather, the head coach mentioned that Chanot will wear the armband the most, but it will be shared amongst a multitude of players.
James Sands should be the captain for New York City FC on Saturday
So, who should New York City FC give the captain's armband to next?
For the match against Houston, James Sands should be given the chance to be the captain. Before he left on loan, the 22 year old was developing into a solid young leader, and it is likely that continues to be the case. He does not care whether a player is younger or a veteran; he will direct them on the pitch.
Sands' performances on the pitch tend to be solid or fantastic as well. Of course, the armband has to go to a player that starts regularly, and there is no way Cushing would not have the American start. He makes a difference in the midfield, and that was clear when comparing the first game of the season, which was before his return, to the other three when he played.
Ideally, NYCFC should name Chanot as the official captain, and rather than saying the captaincy will be shared, they should declare the other leaders as vice-captains. That is actually similar to what FC Barcelona does. Every season, they have their main captain, but usually name a player as the vice-captain, third captain, and then fourth captain.
For the Pigeons, having multiple vice-captains will allow Cushing to see his idea of sharing the leadership roles come to fruition. However, it makes it official, which would aid in the professionalism of how the club is run.
It will be interesting to see what New York City FC does with the captain’s armband throughout the season. But for Saturday’s game in Houston, Sands should be the captain of the Starting XI.