There’s an increased air of excitement surrounding New York City FC lately.
The Club has won four of their last five matches and have only one loss in their last six. To add to the recent improved run of form, New York City FC has added three players: Italian legend Andrea Pirlo, La Liga veteran Andoni Iraola and rising Manchester City FC youth defender Angelino.
Frank Lampard is making his Club debut this Sunday against Toronto FC, too.
“It’s an exciting and challenging time to be head coach of this Club,” head coach Jason Kreis said. “The team is headed in a really positive direction with four wins in the last five. The mood around the team is very good. It’s exciting because now we’re adding really talented top-level players to the group. We look to continue to improve as the season goes on and look to be at our best at the end of the season hopefully for a playoff run.”
New York City FC (5-8-5; 20 points) rank seventh in the Eastern Conference – one spot shy of a playoff berth – following victories at Philadelphia (2-1 on June 6), vs. Montreal (3-1 on June 13), at Toronto FC (2-0 on June 20) and at Montreal (2-1 on July 4).
The Club host Toronto FC (7-7-2; 23 points) on Sunday at Yankee Stadium at 3 p.m. ET. The match, which will be broadcast nationally on ESPN, is the first time Lampard, Iraola and Angelino are eligible for selection.
The three players, along with Kreis, fielded questions from the media at a press conference on Wednesday at the Grand Hyatt.
“It’s an absolute pleasure to be here,” said Lampard, Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer. “The MLS is a fantastic league which I’ve seen grow over the past several years. After having spoken to everybody at the Football Club it was a very easy choice for me to come play ball here, to live in this great city and to be part of this great project.”
Iraola, a versatile defender/midfielder who had 510 appearances for Athletic Bilbao and most recently led the side to the Copa del Rey final, was equally as excited to join New York City FC.
“I talked to David (Villa) before I decided to come here,” Iraola said. “Everything he told me were positive things. It is such a great opportunity.”
Angelino, an 18-year-old right back who is on loan from Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad (U-21) for the remainder of the season, rejoins former teammate Shay Facey with New York City FC.
Angelino is also looking forward to playing with and learning from Villa, Lampard, Iraola and Pirlo.
“I can learn a lot from those guys,” he said. “I’ve got this chance and I need to make the most of it to improve.”
With the star-studded additions, Kreis admitted he doesn’t feel any added pressure aside from what he’s felt since coming on as the head coach of a brand new franchise that was built from the ground floor.
“When I accepted this job I knew it was going to be a big club and they were going to make big signings,” Kreis said. “It’s what you sign up for. It’s one of the reasons I came here, because I wanted to be part of something big and something special in the greatest city in the world. The pressure comes with it and I look forward to it.”