Four MLS players New York City FC should target this summer

New York City FC (1-1-2, 5 pts.) had about as good an opening month in Major League Soccer as any fan, player, or coach could want. Before the team’s previous match against Sporting Kansas City though, it became evident that there are some deficiencies in this NYCFC team that need improving.

Star forward David Villa was among the absent, leaving a huge hole up front. Including Villa, six of New York’s key contributors were missing in action against Sporting, posing the question, do the Light Blues need to bring in more experience?

Frank Lampard, playing at parent-club Manchester City, was in attendance for last Saturday’s fixture, but his experience and technical ability surely would’ve been utilized by manager Jason Kreis.

It’s hard to say what New York City FC’s biggest area of need is, although their inability to score goals was clear against KC. The team has scored three goals in four matches, and all three goals came in New York’s first two fixtures. Another forward, or possibly an attacking midfielder, certainly seems likely in the near future.

On the contrary, City conceded two goals in the opening month of play, which was certainly a delight for Kreis. Various injuries and suspensions forced New York’s manager to put three different back line configurations out on the pitch in the team’s four March fixtures.


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Diego Fagúndez New England Revolution forward/midfielder

This one might be tricky for New York’s front office to work out, but Fagúndez is one of the young faces of MLS. The Uruguayan has been involved with the New England Revolution organization since 2009, when he debuted in their youth academy. Fagúndez is a versatile, shifty attacker, who can play various positions up front.

At 20 years old, he still has a lot of growing to do, but the addition of Fagúndez could mean stability up top for NYC for a very long time. David Villa will only be able to shoulder the bulk of team’s attacking efforts for so long. By bringing in someone young like Fagúndez, it allows Villa to groom him, along with Khiry Shelton.


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Charlie Davies New England Revolution forward

While he isn’t the tantalizing talent that Americans watched at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, Charlie Davies still has a lot left in the tank. The 28-year old is clearly a capable MLS starter and has plenty of domestic and international experience to bolster NYCFC’s attack. Despite his diminutive 5’10” frame, the ex-Boston College Golden Eagle is still a quick, technically savvy forward.

The addition of Davies could allow Villa to drop into the midfield as an attacking midfielder or even winger. Kreis seems to like playing two forwards up top, so a pairing between Khiry Shelton and Davies would be very intriguing. Shelton, like Davies, has great pace and skill, but the 21-year old could learn a lot from the veteran.


Marc Burch (4) of Colorado chasing down Vancouver's Gershon Koffie (28).

Marc Burch (4) of Colorado chasing down Vancouver’s Gershon Koffie (28).

Marc Burch Colorado Rapids left back

Despite New York’s solid defensive efforts thus far, there are certainly questions in the back. Jeb Brovsky has done a phenomenal job at left back through four games, but the addition of Burch would provide some more experience. As Jason Kreis showed against Sporting KC, Chris Wingert can be used as both a wing back and central defender, so this move would be merely to strengthen the defenses’ depth.

The MLS season is grueling, and with the CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2016 Olympic Qualifying coming up this summer, it never hurts to have an abundance of quality players. As shown by recent events, anything can happen at any time, and the Sky Blues will be looking to vie for a playoff spot come fall, so they’ll need as much help as they can get.


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Gyasi Zardes Los Angeles Galaxy forward

Another long-shot because of his age and what he offers to the Galaxy, but if by some chance NYC could work out a trade with Los Angeles, it would be well worth it. The 23-year old American forward is beginning to really hit his stride in MLS, as well as with the United States national team. He is elusive and very physical, providing a deadly pairing with Robbie Keane up front for LA.

Zardes is easily one of the league’s top goal-scorers, and he will only continue to get better. Even if NYC have the financial means to lure Zardes to the Big Apple, it’s highly unlikely that the Galaxy are willing to part ways with him. Keane won’t be around forever and it seems like Zardes can shoulder the load as the team’s main forward.