Matt Freese has expressed his delight at being part of NYCFC.
The goalkeeper joined the Boys in Blue in January this year as part of a trade with the Philadelphia Union. Freese has had to be patient this year for opportunities after making his NYCFC debut in the U.S. Open Cup against FC Cincinnati in May.
More recently he's found a regular starting spot in the first team, with the 25-year-old starting the last five league games for NYCFC. That emergence has coincided with a five-game unbeaten streak for City, and in reflecting on his season, Freese spoke of how happy he is to be in the Five Boroughs.
"I'm super happy here and this is a great place to be," he said.
"This is a great style of play. I think we've all talked about it [the style of play] it's new for me, so it's something I'm adapting to but I really like having the ball. I like controlling the game. I think it shows confidence when you do so.
"I really like the style of play here and I love the people here. For me, it's about taking one game at a time. Right now the thing that's on my mind is going to get in three points against Miami."
He later went on to add, "I don't think that we're doing that many things differently.
"It's just that the results went our way. We're controlling the game in most of the games that we're playing and we're creating chances. In most of the games that we're playing our expected goals is higher than the opponent's expected goals. So despite the result being different, I don't think that we're actually necessarily doing a lot different."
Freese also delved deeper into his tactical adaptation with the team.
The goalkeeper is being encouraged to use his feet more with NYCFC and as part of that journey, it has produced some interesting new challenges for him.
"I think I've always known that in possession-based styles goalkeepers are important," he said.
"But one thing that I really had to learn is that I'm not necessarily a passive participant in this build-up and in possession of the ball.
"I'm much more active in my positioning and my decision-making and timing so that I'm not just helping us maintain the ball but also I'm helping disrupt their press entirely.
"So that's kind of the next step that I'm taking is, can I not only maintain the ball, but can I actively help break down their press? There are different points where you go forward and different points where you go back.
"It's not always set in stone, but something that Rob Vartughian and I have talked about is knowing when to be somewhere - knowing where to be and when to be there - so that I can take a more active role in the breakdown of their press rather than the old school possession style of receiving the ball and passing it to someone else."
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