In the News: Moving Pieces, Mata, and Villa's Silver

ITN Mata 12_6

We're smack-dab in the middle of another busy week of soccer, and there are plenty of stories making their way around the MLS community and beyond. 

READ: NYCFC to Take on LA Galaxy during Preseason

For one, Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri took home the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award. Right behind him, though, is 2016's winner and NYCFC captain David Villa.

After winning NYCFC's team MVP award and a spot in the MLS Best XI, this is just the latest in a long list of accolades for Villa this year. 

CULTURE CORNER: Best XI Art and The 99 Club

Elsewhere, the MLS Expansion Draft looms as Los Angeles FC's 2018 MLS debut crests the horizon, and NYCFC may lose some players to the new club. The good news is that NYCFC can protect 11 players, and Hudson River Blue has some ideas about who those players should be. 

While some players might be saying goodbye, another might be saying hello to the Big Apple. The MLS league website has a write-up on a report out of France linking City to a young French fullback

Currently employed by Olympic Lyonnaise, 22-year-old Louis Nganioni boasts France youth national team experience and current interest from some UEFA Champions League clubs. 

Another fullback making news is Ronald Matarrita, who has re-signed with NYCFC for a third season

According to Hudson River Blue, that's simply not enough. The good folks over at the local SB Nation blog have a laundry list of suggestions for what NYCFC should try to accomplish this offseason, and finding a fullback is just one item on that list. Where do they want to see our squad deepened? Well, click this link to find out. 

WATCH:Ronald Matarrita Re-Signs with NYCFC

The New York Post's Corey Sipkin wrote about Mata's success, and why Patrick Vieira wants him back.

Matarrita returned at the end of the season to give NYCFC an explosive option off the bench and appeared in three matches," writes Sipkin, "including one start, in which head coach Patrick Vieira showcased his positional flexibility by playing him both at back and more forward."

Another face who is sticking around is Patrick Vieira. Again, he reiterated his commitment to NYCFC in an interview with French outlet Le Figaro. ESPN FC translated part of the write-up.

"In all honesty, I'm not chasing a job in Europe! The NYCFC is part of a family, with Manchester City in England and Melbourne City FC in Australia," Vieira said of the City Football Group.

"We have objectives which are very high. I just want to continue blossoming in my job."