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  • Writer's pictureRichard Fleming

Team Profile: New York City FC

Year founded: 2013.

First season in MLS: 2015.

Stadium: Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York, NY.

Honors: MLS Cup (2021), Campeones Cup (2022).

2023 highlights: Nick Cushing takes charge of his first full season in charge, which starts at Nashville SC on February 25th. They will again split their home games between Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, with their home opener being at the former on March 11th, with Inter Miami the visitors. Their first game at Citi Field is against Nashville on April 15th. The two meetings with New York Red Bulls come on May 13th (away) and September 16th (home). There is not too much balance with NYC's schedule. Starting on June 10th at Real Salt Lake they are staring at six out of eight games on the road. Their home game against CF Montreal on August 30th is the first of five in a row at home. They finish the regular season at home to Chicago Fire on October 21st.

Head Coach: Nick Cushing (interim head coach from June 2022, with interim tag removed in November).

Players to watch: Valentin Castellanos, Talles Magno, Gabriel Pereira, Braian Cufré.

Players in:

Players out:

​Tony Alfaro (free agent)

Braian Cufré (on loan from Mallorca)

Matt Freese (trade from Philadelphia) Justin Haak (re-signed) Mitja Ilenic (transfer from NK Domžale) Matias Pellegrini (waivers) Gabriel Segal (waivers)

Nicolas Acevedo (loan to Bahia) Alexander Callens (contract expired) Héber (trade to Seattle Sounders) Sean Johnson (contract expired) Vuk Latinovich (option declined) Maxi Moralez (transfer to Racing Club) Matias Pellegrini (option declined) Santi Rodriguez (loan expired) Anton Tinnerholm (free to Malmo FF) Gedion Zelalem (option declined)

2022 summary: NYCFC finished 3rd in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of RBNY in fourth, but 10 adrift of second place CF Montreal. They were in danger of sliding outside of the top four and fighting for a spot inside the top seven when managing just one win in 10, before rallying to win the last three. But they are given themselves something of a buffer with their outstanding form earlier in the season. There was a stretch of just one loss in 17, from mid-April until the end of July, during which the 2021 champions went 11-1-5. In the playoffs, they defeated Inter Miami 3-0, win 3-1 at Montreal, but then slipped 3-1 at Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference championship game.

Facts and Stats: their 16 total wins has only been bettered once in their eight seasons, when claiming 18 victories in 2019. Defensively they were solid, conceding 41 goals. Again, only once has this number been improved upon in a full season, when giving up 36 in 2021. Valentin Castellanos finished as the team's top scorer (13). Santi Rodrigues (13), Talles Magno (10), and Maxi Moralez (9) led the way in assists, while goalkeeper Sean Johnson played every minute in a season for the first time. Johnson, Rodrigues, and Moralez will not return for 2023. For a fifth season in a row, NYCFC lost just the one match at Yankee Stadium (6-1-2), though as with 2021 just nine of their home games were played there.

Milestones in 2023: Talles Magno's next appearance will be his 50th in Major League Soccer. Keaton Parks is six away from 100 appearances, as he embarks on his fifth season, while Maxime Chanot is four shy of 150.

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