Chanot Gets a New Multiyear Deal
Beside the departure of David Villa, NYCFC’s decision to decline Maxime Chanot‘s option was the most talked about roster move of the young offseason. I wasn’t very surprised by the resigning as Chanot had very oddly been an absolute ghost on social media. If he were leaving, I would have expected a more formal goodbye post.
The good news is that the spine of our defense (Ring-Chanot-Callens) is going to be in place for years to come. When healthy, he is arguably the best ballplaying centerback in the league and someone who was invaluable to the possession styles of both Patrick Vieira and Dome Torrent last year. Safe to say that Chanot is going to be penciled in as our first post-Villa captain.
I love the move, but the timing is very odd. NYCFC could have waited until after the expansion draft to announce the signing. FC Cincinnati would likely not be spending a draft selection on a player without a contract who could easily just go back to Europe. Announcing the deal now could mean that NYCFC has a deal with FC Cincinnati in place perhaps for the MLS rights to Saad Abdul-Salaam, who just finished a great loan stint with the with Phoenix Rising in the USL.
No Real Surprises in the Rest of the Roster Moves
After regressing the last couple of season and barely making the 18 in the Dome Torrent era, local marketing sensation and 2015 original Tommy McNamara was finally let go. He was an MLS 2.0 player in a TAM world. Don’t be surprised to see him eventually in the USL.
Ebenezer Ofori‘s buy option on his loan deal from Stuttgart was also not picked up to end an underwhelming tenure at NYC. The move makes alot of sense as exercising the buy option would have required TAM or a DP slot. Ofori, who was being considered for a DP slot last year, was a huge miss by CFG’s scouting department.
The team also cut ties with Kwame Awuah, Andre Rawls, Rodney Wallace, and human scapegoat Eloi Amagat. The team had traded $75k GAM in order to select Awuah in 2017 SuperDraft. It will be interesting to see where he ends up with the Canadian Premier League’s inaugural season about to begin. Rawls is now free to resign with the OC Blues where he was on loan. Rumor has it that the team is considering bringing back Wallace on a (hopefully much) cheaper contract.
In a move that miffed some supporters, the club exercised the buy option in Valentin Castellanos’ loan from CFG sister club Club Atlético Torque. It was obvious that Castellanos was a pacey talent that Dome preferred over players like Jonathan Lewis, but Torque’s relegation to the Uruguayan second division could have been a factor for CFG to move him to NYC permanently. Would like to know what the transfer fee was but MLS is gonna MLS.
I would have liked to see the club decline Brad Stuver‘s option and find some new talent in the American goalkeeper pool as well. He was disastrous while subbing in for Sean Johnson this season.
Yangel to Europe?
I think that it is time to say goodbye to Yangel Herrera. Would still love to see him get loaned back to us next year, but this kid is a talent well above this league. While its very unlikely that he can sign for Manchester City because of visa reasons, he can probably slot in very well in some other top European league. Makes signing a midfielder our number one off-season priority.
Is Kwaku Owusu the Next Homegrown Player for NYCFC?
There are unsubstantiated rumors going around via the NYCFC Forums that Kwaku Owusu , a three-star rated player by Top Drawer Soccer, is going to be announced as our next homegrown player at the end of the month. The centerback helped NYCFC win its first USSDA U18/19 championship and was named to the U18/19 Eastern Conference Best XI alongside current HGPs Joseph Scally and James Sands.
What’s the Truth About David Villa?
The truth about David Villa is that he likely made the decision to leave in the middle of the season. The likely story is that NYCFC tried to low-ball Villa with a non-DP contract, and Villa responded by finding another team.
On August 17th, Spanish sports tabloid Diario AS had reported that NYCFC would not renew Villa’s contract and Villa was considering retirement. So how does a site that will literally post any rumor get the jump that David Villa and NYCFC would break up three months before it happened?
It’s not a great leap to believe that it was likely someone from Villa’s camp who leaked the story. Not only did this allow Villa’s camp to float his name to potential clubs but to also pin the split on NYC.
After the Hudson River Derby on August 22nd, Villa told Dylan Butler that reports about his retirement were “fake news” but in hindsight he also made other comments that pointed towards a potential breakup.
Villa told Butler, “I can’t be here forever, as a player.” When asked about contract talks, Villa said, “It’s not the moment….we’re not talking a lot because I don’t want to talk a lot.”
These are the type of comments that an unhappy player makes, but is professional enough to at least give a half-denial. Villa was rarely made available to the media after these comment.
What really happened to cause Villa’s discontent and the timeline that followed is hard to pin down.
After this showdown in August, Villa was likely convinced by former teammate Andres Iniesta , who had signed in the spring for an obscene amount of money, to team up with him and Lukas Podolski at Vissel Kobe.
At this point, when NYCFC came to Villa at the end of the season to try to extend his contract and perhaps now realizing they needed to increase their offer in order to retain him, our superstar had already moved on and was no longer willing to listen.
Links Links Links
- Front Row Soccer: Michael Lewis asked MLS mafia boss Don Garber at the MLS Cup about his thoughts on a NYCFC’s stadium search. Garber’s response had words in it.
- Crains Cleveland: Cavs exec in charge of making money, Brad Sims, is the new CEO of NYCFC. Is he going to be able to hold back the tide of season ticket cancellations or will he just be trying to squeezing more money out of us for our CFG overlords?
- New York Post: Kyle Schnizter has a retrospective on what it was like to cover David Villa.
- Pro Soccer USA: Dylan Bulter has a feature on NYCFC Academy player Giovanni Calderon, who won a $5,000 college scholarship to aid in his dream to play D1 soccer.
- Footy Headlines: More details on the new 2019 primary kit. There’s a pigeon on it but it kinda looks dumb because the stripe isn’t continuous.
- NYCFC.com: If you haven’t cried enough about David Villa leaving, NYCFC put out some videos from his farewell event hosted by Men-In-Blazer’s Roger Bennett. Villa also did the surprise gag video.
- NYCFC Academy: Some academy highlights from the DA Winter Showcase. U17s vs. LA Galaxy and Vancouver. U19s vs. Seattle, Michigan Wolves , and FC Dallas. Academy player Tayvon Gray and HGP Joe Scally played major minutes for the USYNT U17 team at the Nike Friendlies this past week.
More Podcasts Than Beat Writers
- Soccer City: Episode 31
- NYCFC Nation Podcast: Our Grieving Process and Italian 101
- Dudes in Blue: EPISODE 137 – THE 3RD ANNUAL DUDIE AWARDS (2018 SEASON FINALE)
- Blue City Radio: Episode 211 Exit Villa, Enter Berhalter (and Sims)