New York City FC returns to the field on Friday afternoon, lining up for a behind closed door friendly vs. LAFC.
Facing off against the Supporters’ Shield holders in LA, NYCFC will be out to gain match fitness as the 2020 season emerges into view.
For Head Coach Ronny Deila, getting through the game with no injuries will be the first objective, but the Norwegian’s competitive spirit was also on full display on the eve of the match.
“I always want to win,” Deila emphasized, “But of course we want to get ideas across and, you know, try to learn from the game since we got a tough opponent this last year, the best team in the league. So, we get some good answers tomorrow, but I always want to win.
“We’ve been training a lot – it was a hard week last week; even harder this week and we have a game tomorrow. The boys have been superb. At the same time, we have no injuries.
“This is big of course. We have a couple of people a little bit tired but so far everything went very good.”
Deila has been boosted by the addition of Gudmundur Thórarinsson this week: a versatile Icelandic player, who will join the group pending the receipt of a P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
Although Ronny has never coached “Gudi” before, he’s been impressed with the 27-year old when he’s lined up in opposition to teams he’s coached in the past.
Deila revealed: “Gudi is a very good player – I’ve never coached him myself, but I’ve played against with my teams before. Rosenberg is a very big team in Norway, Norrköping have done very well in Sweden. He is a very good, very intelligent player.
“He is a player that has a good technique. A very good left foot, and he is a very good boy as well – he has a good mentality and can play in different positions. He can play left back, he can play left and central midfield as well, so he will add a lot to our squad.”
With LAFC up next, Ronny is eager to see how well his ideas from the training pitch translate into a live game situation.
“You always get your answers in the games and that's the most important thing,” Ronny added.
“The attitude, the togetherness, as I said before it's been very good. There’s a good mood in the group, so I’m looking forward to the season. We train good and we build ourselves up to February 20th, that's when the season starts and most important game right now.”
LAFC vs. NYCFC kicks off at 3pm ET on the West Coast. The game will not be open to the public or broadcasted live but we will have half-time and full-time updates on @NYCFC on Twitter, as well as photos and video clips after the match.