Manchester City loanee Shay Facey has mixed MLS start but promise shows

The 20-year-old defender was shown a red card for a second booking in the latter stages of New York City FC's 0-0 draw at the Colorado Rapids but it was an otherwise encouraging performance.

Manchester City loanee Shay Facey’s first MLS start might have ended in disappointment on Saturday but there were nevertheless still a few positives to take from his performance.

Having made his New York City FC debut as a 79th-minute substitute in the previous weekend’s 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution, the 20-year-old right-back was named in the starting line-up for the match at the Colorado Rapids and proceeded to put in a solid showing until eight minutes from the end.

That was when the emerging defender pulled down Rapids midfielder Juan Ramirez just outside the area to earn his second book and send NYCFC down to 10 men for the closing stages of the clash.

The incident didn’t hurt the visitors too much in the end, as Colorado were unable to capitalise on their advantage and forced to settle for a 0-0 draw, but there was still a fair amount of criticism directed at Facey for picking up the expansion side’s first-ever red card.

That should perhaps come as no surprise, given how it was one of few noticeable events during the 90 minutes, but it would also be overlooking what was an otherwise impressive defensive effort for someone making the first senior start of their career.

  PositionTeamTotal TackleTackles AccuracyTotal ClearancesHeaders WonHeader SuccessInterceptionsTotal PassesPassing AccuracyMins Played
Shay Facey DF NYCFC 6 100% 4 2 50% 2 45 76% 83

The Blues product managed a match-leading six tackles before being shown his marching orders, as well as four clearances, two interceptions and 45 passes - the most for a defender across the two teams - to suggest that there will be better times ahead before he returns to the Etihad Stadium.

Joining NYCFC from their parent club until June 30, following an impressive preseason trial, Facey is still to make his first-team bow for the Premier League champions but has been a regular for the Elite Development Squad in recent campaigns, making 34 appearances in all competitions last season as vice-captain of the side.

The promising defender has also represented England at Under-19 level and put pen to paper on a new deal at the Etihad Stadium until 2016 last April.

Now lining up alongside former Barcelona and Spain striker David Villa, the coming months should prove a big test of his potential but, while the red card was an obvious setback, there's still good reason to believe he'll become an important part of head coach Jason Kreis' plans.

"He’s fit in well during pre-season on and off the pitch and his defensive talents will add depth and quality to the back line," Kreis told the club's official website of Facey earlier this month.

"Shay is also a versatile defender that can play in numerous positions across the defense. I’m confident he will bring a lot to this roster.”

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