Image: Darren Abate / USL
2017 USL Defender of the year and frequent San Antonio FC captain Sebastien Ibeagha appears to have earned a trialist role in NYCFC’s preseason squad.
With no player movement between the clubs, the 2017 affiliation between USL club San Antonio FC and MLS club NYCFC seemed to primarily be a front office move. The relationship satisfied NYCFC’s requirement to establish a USL affiliate, while giving the two groups the opportunity to share business strategies in an official capacity.
But with the addition of Ibeagha to New York City’s 31-man preseason squad, it appears there could be more of a pathway for player movement than previously thought.
Obviously it is a difficult balance for SAFC fans, who want their players to stand out and have the chance to play at the highest level but also don’t want to miss out on seeing them play in the Alamo City. But if New York City’s eyes are on San Antonio, the potential for SAFC to acquire “almost-MLS” talent will only benefit the USL club.
The clubs’ affiliation was only announced for 2017 and it is unknown if the partnership will continue officially into 2018.
Neither NYCFC or SAFC were immediately available for comment, though we will update this story if that changes.
You can see more about NYCFC’s preseason squad in their post.