February 14, 2017 – Today, in unsurprising news, NYCFC announced the signing of Yangel Herrera on loan from Manchester City FC for the 2017 MLS season. As soon as Atletico Venezuela publicized his transfer on January 31, rumors began to swirl that he was heading to NYCFC. Now, once he finishes playing at the South American Championship, he will join the club. Herrera possesses the versatility Patrick Vieira loves. He can play defensive midfield, box-to-box midfield, and center back.
New York City FC Signs Yangel Herrera
Vieira is also excited about Herrera’s signing.
“He’s a tactically intelligent midfielder who is strong in the tackle and reads the game well,” the NYCFC boss said. “Yangel also has good passing range and spatial awareness, which is crucial for a player in his position.”
With the departure of Federico Bravo and Andoni Iraola, NYCFC have a big hole to fill in defensive midfield. Iraola and Bravo made 54 appearances last year. However, with the addition of Herrera, Alexander Ring, and James Sands, depth now exists at this position. Also, once Mikey Lopez returns from injury, Vieira has a plethora of options to choose from. This will help shield NYCFC’s back line that conceded the most goals of a playoff team last year.
From Manchester City’s perspective, this loan is a great opportunity to get Herrera playing time because he would not qualify for an English work permit yet. Herrera needs to get minutes for NYCFC and the Venezuelan National Team this year. If he can get those minutes, he could be incorporated into the MCFC first team in the upcoming years. Especially since their starting defensive midfielders are 33, 31, and 29, this loan will be vital to help progress his career. NYCFC’s two previous loanees (Shay Facey and Angelino) from MCFC have not advanced to the first team yet.
Yangel Herrera Background
19-year-old Yangel Herrera was born in La Guaira, Venezuela. He spent his youth career with Primera División Venezolana side Monagas SC, before moving on to Atlético Venezuela. Atlético Venezuela also plays in the country’s top flight division. He made 32 appearances with the club, scoring three goals.
The midfielder made one appearance for the Venezuelan National Team. However, he’s appeared in many games for the U17s and U20s. Most recently, he helped the U20s place third in the South American U20 Championship, their best finish since 1954.