New York City FC stars, Kwadwo Poku, R.J. Allen, Tommy McNamara, Patrick Mullins, and Tony Taylor are set for a training stint with Manchester City.

By Israel Gonzalez

New York City FC had an unpleasant first season in the Bronx. The team finished 10-7-17, good for 37 points in 34 games.

However, that was nowhere near enough to break into the Major League Soccer playoffs. They would finish in eighth-place, 12 points behind sixth-place Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference.

At times, the New York City FC had Yankee Stadium rocking. Other times, you could literally hear a pin drop.

It was so bad, that the team became the butt of most of the soccer-related jokes, particularly on twitter.

New York City FC were also criticized by fans for trying to recreate the wheel.

When they made David Villa their first designated player, they were widely praised by both fans of the club and MLS. But, then came Frank Lampard.

While receptive, fans began to wonder whether the club made a mistake by signing a player at such an advanced age. Then came Andrea Pirlo. This is where the wheels (the ones the club tried to recreate) fell off.

New York City FC got old quickly.

And because Twitter can be a harsh place, often resembling Liberty City from “Grand Theft Auto,” the team was hammered by trolls everywhere.

It also doesn’t help that many fans see the New York City FC as the redheaded sister of the powerful Manchester City.

Speaking of Manchester, the Ashbury Park Press is reporting that Kwadwo Poku, R.J. Allen, Tommy McNamara, Patrick Mullins, and Tony Taylor are heading to the Manchester City stomping grounds to begin a 10-day training stint.

This is a great way to start the preseason for New York City FC. Manchester City has world-class players up and down their roster. Anything these five players can bring back to the States would be beneficial (both short-term and in the long run) to the club.

Poku, who is a fan favorite, would do well to learn from players such as Raheem Sterling and David Silva. That also applies to McNamara, as well.

During his 10-day visit, Mullins should be attached to Sergio Aguero’s hip. With Aguero’s style of play, there is no way that anyone could come up with five strikers (in the world) who are better at what they do than “Kun.”

Defense was also troublesome for New York City FC last season.

Sending Allen over to Manchester to learn from players such as Nicholas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany can only be considered an asset.

New York City FC didn’t have the best season last year. However, the silver lining in all of this is that the team’s marquee names didn’t play together long enough.

While Villa was there from the start, Lampard and Pirlo didn’t arrive until July. There was no way they were going to be able to build a rapport in time to salvage the season.

That’s in the past, though. The future looks bright.

With new head coach Patrick Vieira taking over and several members of the team gaining valuable experience over in Manchester, this coming season could be a memorable one for the New York City FC.

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Israel Gonzalez was born in the greatest borough that New York has to offer, The Bronx. Originally a Mixed Martial Arts writer, Israel started covering NY sports less than a year ago, which is only fitting given his ties to New York. Israel’s favorite NY teams, in no particular order, are the New York Yankees, New York City FC, the New York Jets, and the New York Knicks. He is looking forward to the next step in what has been an eventful journey.