Ibeagha Survives As Expansion Draft Tribute
While everyone (including yours truly) was freaking out about NYCFC leaving Sebastien Ibeagha unprotected, FC Cincinnati did us a big favor by selecting promising Red Bulls centerback prospect Hassan Ndam instead.
Over the last two years in the USL, Ndam had dominating performances against FCC including one this July in which he helped shut down Fanenado Adi. NYCFC fans will also remember Ndam keeping David Villa scoreless in our last US Open Cup match-up.
Also playing into FCC’s decision was a trade for Vancouver Whitecaps CB and Red Card Machine Kendall Watson which was announced a couple hours after the Expansion Draft.
Plucked From the Dumpster Fire
NYCFC liberated utility player Tony Rocha from the MLS toxic wasteland that is Orlando City. Rocha played a bunch of positions last year for Orlando City including center midfield, left midfield, centerback, and left fullback.
At the end of November, Rocha was one of eight Orlando City players who had their options declined. NYCFC sent a fourth-round SuperDraft pick (aka nothing of value) to acquire Rocha’s MLS rights before the Re-Entry draft. By acquiring his rights, NYCFC will likely be picking up the option that Orlando City declined. Rocha made $68,902 in base salary last year and will likely not be making much more than that in 2019.
While some fans are clamoring for some big moves to replace Villa and Yangel Herrera, this seems like a solid depth move especially with the recent left-footed player exodus of Rodney Wallace, Ebeneezer Ofori, and Kwame Awuah. Don’t expect Rocha to be more than an emergency fill in off the bench.
Rawls & Wallace Find New MLS Teams
Two NYCFC players that had their options declined found new clubs this week. Andre Rawls’ USL performance last season was good enough for him to be selected in the First Round of the Re-Entry Draft by the Colorado Rapids. He will compete with newly acquired Clint Irwin for the privilege of backing-up MLS’s worst DP Tim Howard.
Wallace officially signed with Sporting Kansas City. Although it was believed that NYCFC attempted to resign Wallace to a cheaper contract after declining his option, his departure was not very surprising.
Links, Links, Links
- Sports Illustrated: Grant Wahl had an absolute tear-jerking account of the life and death of Claudio Reyna‘s son Jack. Embedded inside is also confirmation that Giovanni Reyna is in Germany getting acclimated but did not corroborate rumors that he he will sign for Dortmund.
- ESPN: Outside the Lines concluded that Yankee Stadium concessions are the nastiest in MLB.
- The Oregonian: Former midfielder and Best Hair XI award winner Ned Grabavoy was promoted to technical director by Portland.
- NYCFC Forums: Rumor has it that the whole team will be going to Abu Dhabi for the preseason. Team likely wanted to prevent the near disaster that took place when R.J. Allen was cut last preseason resulting in Ethiad Airlines having to edit him out of their commercial.
- Twitter: Interesting thread on Dome and tactics. Twitter is definitely the best platform to have these discussions.
- Instagram: David Villa’s bags are packed.
- Washington Post: After helping the NYCFC U19s win a USSDA championship this summer, academy product Vinicius Lansade won the NCAA College Cup with Maryland playing 9 minutes in a reserve role. Although the freshman played some preseason games for us last season, he likely does not qualify for homegrown status because he joined our academy too late.
More Pods Than Beat Writers
- Soccer in the City: Chanot’s Contract, Replacing Villa’s Output
- NYCFP: The Protected And Unprotected
- Blue City Radio: Episode 212: MLS Cup 2018 Review, How Atlanta Built a Soccer Culture