Projecting NYCFC’s Starting XI against Nashville in opener

talles magno, nycfc
Oct 9, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York City FC forward Talles Magno (43) is defended by Atlanta United defender Juan Sanchez Purata (22) in the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

A new season and a fresh start for the “Boys In Blue” in 2023. The offseason saw a complete exodus of players from NYCFC. Many of which were vital for the club’s first championship in 2021.

From club legend Maxi Moralez to the team’s captain Sean Johnson all saw new opportunities far away from the city that never sleeps. While they all were hurtful departures due to being fan favorites or key in the team’s playing structure, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

Luckily for the fanbase, the preseason arrived just in time to give us a broader perspective on the immediate future.

The return of familiar faces settled the tense environment caused by the sudden changes around the team. Resigning elements such as Matias Pellegrini and Justin Haak already signaled that a generational change was in order. If you add members like Luis Barraza at goal and the Brazilian trio up front with Talles Magno, Thiago Andrade, and Gabriel Perreira, the team is heading to a long-term project. If you ask me, this is a good approach, given the number of competitions the team will participate in during the season. However, the most important quality, and perhaps the word for the season, is “patience.” After all, good things take time to settle and work properly.

All eyes are on Nashville for NYCFC:

Having to start the season on the road is never easy for any team. Especially if you come in with a rebuilding process under your belt. But challenges help build your character, right? So in a way playing far from home can benefit NYCFC. Whether they win, lose, or draw, the following names have been selected as my starting XI for the first match of the season against Nashville.

This is the season for the attacking trio to display their potential in the attack. Talles Magno is expected to play the number 9 role after Heber’s departure.

The young Brazilian has big shoes to fill since Valentin Castellanos last held the position. In defense, all eyes are on Thiago Martins, who indirectly replaces Alexander Callens, but in the most recent press conference, he emphasized that he learned a lot from Callens and is ready to partner up with Maxime Chanot to provide leadership and guidance. 

*Wildcards- While nothing has been officially confirmed, sources tell me Santiago Rodriguez will be announced as an NYCFC player within the next week. While I find it difficult for him to feature in the first game, his name should be considered in midfield. Last but not least, Braian Cufre, a defender with attacking attributes, is definitely one to consider as well.

Overall, the team seems to have found the necessary connections to take on the first match of the season. Only time will tell if this lineup remains the base for NYCFC’s 2023 season. As always, thank you for supporting my work covering The Boys In Blue. Ready to see what this new season has in store for all of us! See you next time.