Manchester City loanee Shay Facey impressed by MLS quality

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The New York City FC defender has been discussing his start to life in the States with the City-backed expansion side.

Manchester City loanee Shay Facey has told Soccer Newsday of how he’s loving life with New York City FC so far, despite a somewhat mixed start on the pitch.

Facey, 20, joined the City-backed club on loan until June 30 prior to the start of their inaugural MLS campaign, having impressed as a trialist during preseason, although he had to settle for a spot on the bench for their opening two matches.

However, after making his professional debut as a 79th-minute substitute in the 2-0 home win over New England Revolution, the promising defender was given his first start for last weekend’s trip to the Colorado Rapids, where a late red card in a goalless draw dampened what was an otherwise encouraging outing at right-back.

Nevertheless, Facey is pleased that the team itself has gotten off to an unbeaten start in their first three games, and has also been more than impressed with both the talent in their squad and the fan support that saw 43,000 attend their home opener at Yankee Stadium.

“As you can see, with the fan base alone that the club’s got, New York City FC is going to be a huge club," he said. “The club wants to compete, and whichever club that’s part of City Football Group wants to compete for titles and bringing through the best players to play for their respective teams.

NYCFC is definitely not something to be taken lightly, and I would say if you do get the opportunity to come here, definitely take that opportunity with two hands.

“For sure, the quality of this team is not far away from Manchester City, and it has the potential to be a huge club attracting [top] players.”

Facey was expected to be joined by up to three more of his City teammates at NYCFC this season, with head coach Jason Kreis revealing last winter that the MLS expansion side could sign up to four loanees from their parent club.

He had even travelled to Manchester on several occasions to scout their Elite Development Squad and Under-18s for other potential candidates, but director of football Claudio Reyna has since revealed that more arrivals from the Etihad Stadium are unlikely.

“It very likely won’t be four this season,” Reyna told SBISoccer.com earlier this month. “We have one, and I think it just needs to work for all the right reasons. There’s a lot of talent there, and we think it’s for us a tool that will help our team here in New York. We’re going to make sure we use it wisely, but to say we use all four will be really difficult right now.

“This is something new that both clubs are working together to make sure it’s a win-win, but right now our squad is filled out. As a bench, we have a bit of flexibility, but we’re probably going to move into the season with Shay being our one Manchester City player.”

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