CHARLESTON, S.C. | New York City FC head coach Jason Kreis has one objective on his mind ahead of the preseason friendly against fellow Major League Soccer expansion side Orlando City SC on Saturday night.
Kreis wants to see improvement.
“The proof will be in the pudding,” he said. “What happens in the 90 minutes Saturday night and how they perform will show us where we’re at. I want to see improvement. I want to see the energy level better. Last time out against Brondby I thought the energy level was quite low, so I want to see a higher energy level, a little more commitment from the group and to show that we’re learning and moving in the right direction.”
New York City FC plays Orlando City SC at 7:30 p.m. EST from Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C., as part of the 2015 Carolina Challenge Cup. The Club also has matches against Houston Dynamo and Charleston Battery before beginning their inaugural MLS season on March 8.
The Club is coming off a 2-0 defeat to Danish Superliga side Brondby on Feb. 15 at City Football Academy in Manchester, England.
Despite the defeat to close out the second leg of New York City FC’s preseason tour, players and coaches alike believe it can be viewed as a learning experience. Defender Chris Wingert said losing to Brondby was good for the Club.
“I thought we played excellently in the first match and everything went our way,” he said of the 2-0 win over St Mirren on Feb. 10. “We were hard to break down, we were good on the ball. In the second match we played a little better side and they gave us some trouble and we gave ourselves some trouble.
“I think that was good so we can hit some adversity early and take a look at some things we need to improve upon moving forward.”
The Carolina Challenge Cup provides an opportunity for New York City FC not only to focus on improving ahead of the regular season opener, but it can also be utilized as a measuring stick against fellow MLS teams.
“You don’t want to be playing teams in preseason too much you’re going to be playing throughout the year, but it’s good to see how you’re measuring up and how the progress is coming,” Wingert said. “I’m looking forward to it. The more matches we can get in before the season starts, the better.”