NYCFC went through the Expansion Draft without getting anyone taken. However, the club could still use some more players to fill out the squad. They can acquire more players through free agency, Waiver Draft, or next month’s SuperDraft. One way to get experienced MLS veterans, which NYCFC lack, is through free agency. NYCFC have the 16th, 38th, and 60th pick. Their biggest needs are midfield, specifically defensive midfield, and center back. However, if Ronald Matarrita gets sold to Europe, they will need some reinforcements at outside back.
Five Free Agents NYCFC Need to Target
Will Johnson is a defensive midfielder, who won MLS Cup with the Portland Timbers in 2015. He would provide a steady influence in front of the back four, and would help transition from defense to offense. With no defensive midfielders on the current roster, Johnson would be a great solution. Then, NYCFC could draft a younger defensive midfielder with the 38th or 60th pick as more of a project. That way, next year when Johnson is a free agent this new player could step in.
NYCFC also are in need of a center back. At 31, Sean Franklin still has some miles in his legs. He could immediately challenge Maxime Chanot and Frédéric Brillant for a starting spot. Now, NYCFC’s center back position would suddenly have more depth and experience. Hopefully, Franklin’s addition could help cut down on the goals conceded. Last season, they conceded 57 goals in 34 games.
While Frank Lampard isn’t a conventional number ten, NYCFC will need a center attacking midfielder to replace him. Since Mix Diskerud isn’t highly rated by Patrick Vieira, they are in need of someone to fill the role. One good, experienced player is Javier Morales. He could help provide a creative presence to help the forwards. Then similar to defensive midfield, they could draft a younger number ten with one of their draft picks. Next year, the younger player could take over for Morales.
With rumors swirling around about Matarrita being transferred, NYCFC may be in need of a left back. One strategy Vieira could try to fill Matarrita’s place would be to switch RJ Allen to left back, and have Shannon Gomez enter the starting lineup. However, if NYCFC are worried about making that big of a gamble, they could consider signing Corey Ashe. Ashe is a veteran left back who played for Columbus Crew SC in 2016. His salary is fairly reasonable at $95,000 last year. NYCFC should only go after him if they sell Matarrita. He still has a couple seasons in him, so that would give NYCFC time to find another left back with the money they would receive from selling Matarrita.
Another option for a center back that could add competition to the squad is Marvell Wynne. Wynne is the son of a former Major League baseball player Marvell Wynne. He is known for his speed and can also play outside back. Wynne could also step in if Matarrita left. His flexibility could allow Vieira to play three at the back if he wanted to. Last season he made $224,375, which might be a lot for NYCFC to spend on a back up center back.