New York City Football club will play their second home game at Yankee Stadium this Saturday night against Sporting Kansas City.
NYC FC enters the game with the best record in the MLS Eastern Conference, with one win and two draws, for five points through the first three games.
NYC FC Head Coach Jason Kreis, seen above calling out a play during practice at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, said of their start, ”
Kreis said of what he wants to see the team improve on this weekend, “Lots of things, lots of things. I think, really, we need improvement on both sides of the ball. I’ve known for a long time that we’re going to be a team that has to improve with the first quarter to half of the season. I wouldn’t expect that we’re going to play our best game, but I’m still going to be after it every single week. So, for me, both sides of the ball, all aspects of the game.
“I think we gave up way too many glaring goal-scoring chances in Colorado (on Saturday, March 21st). We were very fortunate to get a shutout there (the game was a 0-0 tie) and we also weren’t good enough with the ball, so as I said, improvement in all areas.
“I think, again, we’re always going to be after the perfect game. For me, the New England game (home opener on March 15th) lacked that sort of perfect feel because there was at least twenty minutes in the first half after we scored the goal that they were all over else and, frankly, deserved to score a goal against us, but apart from that, if you look at the second half, I was really pleased with the performance in the second half. It was a much more aggressive effort by our team. I thought we were on top of them from minute 46 to minute 90-plus…We’re still looking for 90 minutes of a really strong, aggressive, dominant performance at home,” said Kreis.
NYC FC forward David Villa said of his and the team’s start, “I’m very happy to be here, I think this is a very important project for the team, for the crowd, for the City group, and we’re building something that I’m sure is going to be very big. I’m very happy and honored to be a part of it. And, I’m pretty sure in the future it’s going to be even bigger.”
Villa said of his impressions of the MLS, “Everything’s been very good, very positive. As I said in the previous press conference, I’ve been following the league since September of last year, so nothing really has surprised me in that sense. Obviously, it’s very different to be playing in it than watching from the outside. I think watching it for several months, so it’s difficult for things to surprise me, but I’m very happy about the whole thing, how it’s played and the competitiveness of the league. Also, the expectations outside of the field, from the media, from the fans who have been filling the stadiums up. My goal is just to keep working hard and make it even better for New York City Football Club.”
Frank Lampard, who will be joining NYC FC this summer, will be visiting with the team this week while Manchester City has some time off, and Kreis said of that, “I hope so, hope he gives me a couple minutes of his time…No, I have not yet spoken with him about his coming over, but I’m certain now we’ll get to spend some time together. It’s really exciting that he’s going to take that time and make the effort to come and see us this weekend when he has a break and we look forward to spending some time with him and getting the guys around him. I think that’s important.”
On if they have discussed Lampard arriving earlier than July, Kreis said, “It is not something that’s being discussed. We are going to be approaching this the exact same way since I think January when we found out he’s staying until the summer, preparing ourselves and being ready for him to join us in the summer. We’re still very excited about that prospect. But we’re not going to speculate on anything sooner.”
Villa said of Lampard’s visit, “We’re happy he’s going to come visit us, and see us play and get together with the team. That was already decided by City Group. It’s also already decided that Frank is going to stay over there until June.”
NYC FC midfielder Mix Diskerud was not called up for the national team’s games in Switzerland on March 31st and against Mexico in Dallas on April 15th. Kreis said of that, “I was very surprised, because you never know, I don’t know what the objectives of these two games are for the coach (Jurgen Klinsmann) and what he’s looking to achieve or what he wants to look at. It’s impossible for me to say, but I really had expected Mix to go. I think there are several MLS players in the exact same category as Mix that didn’t get called in, so we’ll see if Jurgen has some kind of a plan.”
There are also rumors that NYC FC will be looking into acquiring Xavi Hernandez from Barcelona. Kreis said of that prospect, “This is always difficult when you think about a player like Xavi Hernandez, for me one of the best players in the world ever, a big, big fan of his. So you say to yourself on one side, you sit there and say there’s no doubt that a player like that will be great at New York City. But when you look at it from another view and say you only get three (Designated Player Slots), and you’ve already got another one that plays in the midfield and you’ve got a third one in David Villa, whose all relative are are getting up there, you start to think, maybe not.”