New York City FC’s preparations for the club’s historic debut season step up a gear Tuesday with the first preseason clash against Scottish side St Mirren.
After training camps in Florida and Manchester, head coach Jason Kreis’ men will now have the chance to show off their skills in two exciting exhibition matches against European opposition.
Based near Glasgow, St Mirren is first to travel to Manchester’s City Academy Stadium for a 2 p.m. EST kickoff, before Danish Superliga side Brondby are the visitors at 7 a.m. EST Sunday morning.
NYCFC defender Jason Hernandez is relishing the opportunity to get on the field, but admits that tomorrow’s game is likely to be a tough test against a team that is in the middle of its regular season.
“We’re ready to get out there. We got started in Florida and now the games kick into gear a little bit, so we’re looking forward to it,” Hernandez said. “It will be difficult and it will take some adjusting I’m sure, but that’s what we’re here for — to gain ground and progress each day, so we’re excited about the challenge.
“We want to show that we’re developing well, working together as a team and progressing all the time. The start of the season is getting closer and we want to make sure we’re ready. These games are a part of that and I can’t wait to get out on the field.”
Kreis has spent months building the team and embedding his methodologies, in preparation for NYCFC’s inaugural season in Major League Soccer.
As a result, Hernandez feels the squad is now ready to implement all they’ve learned from the boss into a match situation.
“He’s beginning to preach certain things about our culture and the way we want to play, and it’s up to us to implement those not only in training but out on the field,” Hernandez said. “In the way that this club is going to represent New York City as a whole, being from many different places and different countries and coming together and being successful is something very exciting for us.”
Kwame Watson-Siriboe added: “We’re a relatively new team so the game will be a tough test, but we have to concentrate on what our own goals are and that’s to gel as a team. But we also have to show that we’re utilising every moment of our time together, whether that’s in the classroom learning from our manager and assistant coaches, to applying it on the field as well.”
Midfielder Sebastian Velasquez echoed his teammates’ sentiments, declaring everyone at the club is eager to showcase exactly what they are capable of.
“It will be our first exhibition match together,” Velasquez said. “We have to show on the pitch that we’re together and all our training has taken us forward as a team. Every game we play from now on, we have to get into a better rhythm. The longer we’re together, the better things are looking as we’re getting closer to the start of the season.”
We’ll also have all the post-match reaction here on nycfc.com.