MLS is Back Draw Reaction

MLS is Back Tournament | Deila and Parks React to Group Stage Draw

In case you missed it, New York City FC were drawn into Group A at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, commencing July 8.

Head Coach Ronny Deila and midfielder Keaton Parks both gave their thoughts on the competition format, how the team is preparing and being paired with Chicago Fire, Orlando City, Inter Miami, Nashville and Philadelphia in the only six-team group in the East.

RELATED | New York City FC drawn into Group A at the MLS is Back Tournament

Ronny Deila

On a special season…

“This season is going to be a special season whatever happens now. It’s about being ready for the unexpected all the time and now we have a tournament which is good. I don't think any team will have had a perfect build-up to this, so it's about who does it best, and we will do everything we can to be as ready as possible to get victories in the beginning of the tournament so we take that with us into the league - also, if we do that, that will put us into the fight for winning the tournament.”

On the format…

That's exciting you know when it's like a World Cup tournament. If I one time in my life will experience that as a head coach for a national team this is a good, good experience to take with you. I think it’s the same for all the players as well - it's different, but it's exciting.”

On squad conditioning and injuries…

“The squad have been getting very good results test results and we are looking much sharper now than we did in January when we came back and everybody's injury free.”

On Group A…

“I'm happy with the group – it’s exciting games. They are tough games whoever you face in MLS, it’s a very competitive league. All these teams are new teams for me so I’m looking forward to studying them and hope we beat them in Orlando.”

On becoming more physical…

“They are training much harder than they have ever done and that’s important. We are getting better all the time. We need to be a more robust, physical team if we’re going to win a trophy. We have to be ready to go into the hard games like against Seattle, Toronto, Columbus - these kind of teams who are fighting and trying to run us out of the game. We know we have skills but the hard-working team culture has to be in the bottom, as we know we have skills that a lot of the teams do not have.”

Keaton Parks

On return to play…

“We're all coming back out, like, another preseason so it's hard to tell what's going to happen, but we're all just excited. I know I'm very excited to get back on the field and play again and I'm interested to see how this tournament style turns out.”

On facing Chicago, Orlando and Philadelphia…

“I'm excited to play all of them really, but yeah Philadelphia for sure, I mean they're right down the road from us and it’s always a little more intense but I mean, obviously all three games are serious and we're hoping to get through the group stage and get to the finals.”

On lockdown vs. phased return to training…

“Nothing's the same as day to day training and playing games throughout a season so coming back and trying to get back into game shape is always difficult, and it does definitely feel like another preseason.”

On broadcast featuring produced fan audio vs. natural sounds…

“I feel like that would be weird. I've been watching some of the Bundesliga where they have that but I don't know how much I would like that or not. Growing up obviously I've played without fans for my whole life so like, I'm also used to that as well.”


Read more about the MLS is Back Tournament at NYCFC.com/MLSisBack

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