How are you enjoying the Leagues Cup so far?
Last week I asked if any NYCFC fans were interested in this brand-new tournament, and so far, it’s been a bit of an eye-opener.

Regardless of what’s going on in the Leagues Cup, the Pigeons will still have to wait another three weeks to get the show back on the road, so this time could be considered “reconsolidation” or “rebuilding” time.

Nevertheless, MLS doesn’t just stop in the middle of the season; there are plenty of NYCFC news and notes to discuss.

Has NYCFC made the best of the Leagues Cup so far?

Dropping a tough 1-0 loss to Liga MX side Atlas was a tough wakeup call for NYCFC last Sunday.  This match wasn’t terrible, and new transfer striker Mounsef Bakrar proved he’s worth every penny of the transfer money to bring him to the Big Apple.  The big eye-opener came this past Wednesday when NYCFC simply unloaded a season full of frustrations on a reeling Toronto FC side with a truly lopsided 5-0 win that helped keep their Leagues Cup hopes somewhat alive.

The 5-0 win was sweet in the fact that so many players contributed goals to the cause, including Maxime Chanot, Mounsef Bakrar (his first with NYCFC and MLS), Andres Jasson, and of course, Santi Rodriguez was back in form again and added to the cause.  While the win may be a bit lackluster because it was against Toronto FC, readers need to be reminded that this side is a fellow Eastern Conference team, and this win helped propel NYCFC into the Round of 32, which starts this coming week.

NYCFC Transfer News and Notes

Gabriel Pereira

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The Pigeons said goodbye to their top goal scorer this season by transferring Gabriel Pereira to the Qatari side Al-Rayyan SC.  The young Brazilian led NYCFC in goals this year, and his success with the Pigeons made him a lucrative trade prospect commanding high transfer fees.

The addition of Algerian striker Mounsef Bakrar looks like a transition into a new attacking third. While Pereira will be missed, head coach Nick Cushing is looking to develop some chemistry with the recent addition of Bakrar (and he scored his first MLS goal in only his second match.)

Andres Perea

NYCFC is trying to shore up its midfield by obtaining Andres Perea on loan from the Philadelphia Union for the remainder of the 2023 season in exchange for $300,000 in GAM (General Allocation Money) in 2024.  Perea originally came over to the Union from Orlando City SC, after last season but only has 146 minutes of playing time this year.

The addition of Perea looks to be an attempt to shore up the midfield, as NYCFC is still in the hunt for that elusive final playoff spot once the regular season resumes at the end of August.

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