Despite enjoying a three-game league winning streak before yesterday’s loss to Red Bull New York, the expansion New York City Football Club is still a bad soccer team. The reality of the New York market’s saviors lies closer to the “winless in 11” team we saw earlier this season, not the “winners of three in a row.”
Just look at the starting lineup NYCFC trotted out against the Red Bulls on Sunday. Nothing about that collection of names makes the team’s 4-8-5 record a surprise. The only consistencies about NYCFC’s squad are that David Villa will make at least one GIF-worthy move against some unfortunate defender and Mix Diskerud will be ready to make a backwards pass whenever called upon.
Of course, we all know that NYCFC’s current roster is incomplete and will not be the same when it comes time to make a final push for an Eastern Conference playoff spot. At least, we think we do. We can assume Frank Lampard will be in uniform as soon as MLS’s secondary transfer window opens next month. The person sitting next to him during yesterday’s derby is another story.
We know that Italian demigod Andrea Pirlo has agreed to a deal with NYCFC, but until he’s spotted in powder blue, there’s no reason to assume his journey to MLS won’t include a pit-stop in Manchester, six more months in Italy, opening a vineyard in California, or some other ridiculous thing.
Fortunately for NYCFC fans, Lampard and Pirlo weren’t the only big names in attendance Sunday. There was another star in the house that Derek Jeter built, a big name that would strengthen the Sons of Manchester back line and garner tons of international press in the process.
No, not that Real Madrid wash-up Gareth Bale. NYCFC needs to sign James Todd Smith, a.k.a. LL Cool J.
LL Cool J would make a perfect signing for the City blues. He’s old and famous — critical to NYCFC plans — but unlike Lampard and Pirlo, he’s local. That’s a hell of a bonus for fan relations. LL is one of the New Yorkest New Yorkers to ever New York. Just watch the video for the 1987 classic “I’m Bad” and be inspired.
As a much-needed center back, LL Cool J would “battle anybody, I don’t care who you tell” because he’s that type of guy. His loyalty would never be in question, either. At this stage in his career, LL Cool J needs love. He’s alone in his room, staring at the wall, thinking of ways he can love you better, NYCFC.
A midfield consisting of Lampard, Pirlo, Diskerud and whatever lukewarm body NYCFC trots out for the second half of the season is sure to have some defensive issues. Between them, there hasn’t been a solid defensive performance since “Doin’ It” was a hit. With LL Cool J anchoring the back, coach Jason Kreis could switch his side to playing a secure 4-3-2-1 and ride it to a comfortable fifth spot on the charts.