By Luis Vazquez

Well, that settled the rumors for good. Josh Saunders is officially no longer part of the plans of NYCFC. The former number one goaltender in the NYC team’s first season was traded to Orlando City for their fourth round pick in the 2019 MLS Superdraft.

It was a mutual fit for both parties.

The writing was on the wall after the NYCFC leaky defense was riddled for 64 goals, the most in MLS. Traditionally the keeper takes the fall. After Saunders, 35, was replaced in the playoffs and was not listed on the pre-season roster, he was under no illusions.

When the Blues traded for 27-year old goalie in Sean Johnson from Chicago, their direction was summed up by head coach Patrick Viera, “We found a new goalkeeper,” Viera said, “It would be better for Josh to find another team where he can play more often.”

They found a place with a familiar face, Jason Kreis, who welcomed the three-time MLS Cup champion. It was a team that was on Josh’s list and the sporting director of NYCFC, Claudio Reyna.

“We’re happy that we managed to find the right solution for him to play in 2017 and we know our fans will also want to wish Josh all of the best in his future endeavors.” Reyna said.

This move along with Dix Miskerud not being on the list marks a transition in the third season of NYCFC. Patrick Viera and team management are determined to fix the holes in their unit. Vieira sees things coming together well at this point as they prepare for their friendly match in Ecuador against Emelec on February 8th.

“From the first day day, they’re working really hard,” Vieira said, “This is a really good sign for me.”


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