Ronny Deila has spoken of his admiration for the youthful NYCFC squad which took Corinthians all the way in Wednesday’s Florida Cup opener.
A mix of Academy talents, Homegrowns and trialists gave as good as they got against the Brazilian giants and were edged out 2-1.
Deila, who is overseeing his first preseason as NYCFC Head Coach, was most impressed by the tactical nous employed by his young charges and will be looking for the same on Saturday when Palmeiras provide the opposition.
Deila told NYCFC.com: “I’m very proud of the boys. I think the performance was really, really good. What was impressive to me was the discipline and that we kept compact for 90 minutes.
“We didn’t let up at all and there were tight distances throughout the 90 minutes. There was very good team spirit and also that they came back from 2-0 to 2-1 was good. Against a good opponent like Corinthians with a really young team, I was very satisfied by the boys.”
Deila continued: “They have ability to learn which is the most important thing when you want to be a football player. To take information, commitment and togetherness – that’s all been really good. Then there’s things that everyone has to work on like skills and physicality but if you are wanting to learn and have that capacity, you will develop.”
With more high level Brazilian opposition up next, Ronny is hoping to see more of the same, even if the personnel on the field may be different.
More of the senior players on the training camp in Florida are expected to feature this time as the squad takes steps towards competitive football resuming at the end of February.
“There’s still going to be some young players but older players that are here and injury-free are going to attend to that game,” Ronny revealed, “It’s going to be a different lineup but still a lot of young players.
“I have the same expectations as last time – good team spirit, discipline and then it will be the first game for a lot of players so they will just open their legs up a little bit, get to the bigger spaces, start to get to know one another again and hopefully get through the end without injuries. Then I will be really happy.”
Fans in the New York region will once again have access to a free live stream of the match on NYCFC.com at 2pm on Saturday afternoon.