2020–21 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season will be the 7th edition of the top professional football league in India. The season will start from 20th November 2020 and is expected to end by March 2021 without any COVID interruption. This year’s season will be hosted behind-closed-doors across three venues in Goa due to the ongoing pandemic in India.
Read More: North East United FC Preview
The Venues: GMC Stadium Bambolim, Tilak Maidan Stadium, and Fatorda Stadium
Defending Champion: Atlético de Kolkata FC (Will be competing under the new name ATK Mohun Bagan this season
Runners Up: Chennaiyin FC
League Shield Winners: Goa FC
Last Season standing of Mumbai City FC: 5th
Mumbai City FC
The biggest festival of Indian Football is coming back. The carnival of football will be celebrating its 7th year. The Coronavirus pandemic might have tamed the preparations and arrangements a bit but the fans can’t wait for ISL to be back. Even though it will be played behind closed doors, but the fans are ready. Social media is heating up. The banter game is firing up.
Mumbai City FC is one of the hot favorites of ISL 2020-21. They finished their last season poorly under Jorge Costa. This year they will go full throttle to win the title. They spent big and expecting a better result this year.
Former Portugal international & Champions League Winner coach Jorge Costa was released earlier this year by Mumbai City FC. They signed a new Head Coach, Sergio Lobera. The Spaniard has coaching experience in leagues around the world in a career spanning almost 25 years. Lobera has managed clubs in Spain, Morocco and in India and also had a spell as assistant manager of FC Barcelona in 2012.
Lobera was most recently was the Head Coach at FC Goa, winning the Super Cup in 2019 to much acclaim. Under him, they also managed to win the League Shield in 2019-20 season. Goa delivered some fantastic performances throughout the season.
Lobera is an attacking coach on the field. He uses some very particular types of players to implement his style. In his interview, he said that he is excited to coach Mumbai. Along with him, he brought in some brilliant players from FC Goa, that sparked anger among the Goan fans.
Major Transfer News and New Signings
The 25-year old French-Moroccan, Hugo Boumous joins Mumbai after an excellent 2019-20 season with the Goan outfit, which saw him win the ISL Golden Ball last season. In January 2018, he followed Lobera to FC Goa, where he managed to register an impressive tally of 20 goals and 17 assists in 47 games across all competitions, winning the ISL League Shield (2019-20) and the Super Cup (2019) in the process.
Initially, they completed the signing of Hugo Boumous for an undisclosed fee. But later it was found out to be of Rs 1.6 crore, a record in Indian football. He is expected to boost up the forward line of Mumbai FC with another start signing, Bartholomew Ogbeche. The Nigerian center-forward joins the Islanders on a year-long deal for the 2020-21 season. Ogbeche is one of the most prolific strikers in Indian football. Captaining NorthEast United FC and scoring 12 goals in 18 games, he is still the highest scorer for them. Continuing his journey in the ISL, he went on to represent Kerala Blasters in the 2019-20 campaign and finished with 15 goals in 16 games, the joint top goal-scorer in the division and he is also the top scorer for Kerala.
The signing of 23 years old forward Farukh Choudhary can play on either side in attack as well as down the middle. The Indian international joins the Islanders on a three-year contract. In 2016, he made the move to Kerala Blasters and subsequently featured for Mumbai FC on loan in the I League before joining Jamshedpur FC in 2017.
Mumbai completed the signing of 22 years old defender Amey Ranawade and 21 years old midfielder PC Rohlupuia. They signed a four-year deal each which will serve them for a hasty period. Born in Mizoram, PC Rohlupuia played his youth football at East Bengal and through impressive performances in midfield, earned his place in the senior squad. Ranawade, a product of the AIFF Academy in Goa, has represented Mohun Bagan in the I League and also FC Goa. The versatile defender also represented India at the U-17 and U-19 levels. These two will excite the Mumbai fan base for sure.
Mumbai City have secured the signing of English-born Japanese midfielder Cy Goddard. The 23-year-old joins the Islanders on a season-long loan from Italian club Benevento Calcio. He is perhaps the most exciting signing for Mumbai in midfield. They are hoping for a good performance from him and planning on keeping him further if possible. He is a product of English club Tottenham Hotspur’s youth academy. Goddard also represented Spurs at the U-18, U-21, and U-23.
Ahead of the 2018-19 season, Mourtada Fall linked up with his former coach Lobera and made the switch to the Indian Super League with FC Goa. Since then, Fall has proven to be one of the top defenders in the division, winning the 2019 Super Cup and the 2019/20 ISL League Shield. Fall has also scored 9 goals and provided 3 assists in 43 appearances over two seasons, earning the tag of a goal-scoring defender.
Mumbai also successfully completed loan signings of A-League Winner Adam le Fondre from Sydney FC and, Hernán Santana from Sporting Gijón.
another defensive signing and another one of Lobera’s pupils at Goa Ahmed Johouh will also play for Mumbai City FC.
Raynier Fernandes The Dadar-born midfielder committed to staying in the club till 2022. In his two seasons with the Islanders, Raynier has gone on to become a fan favorite, making 34 appearances for the Club notching up 3 goals and 3 assists.
From the league's inception, FC Pune City and Mumbai City FC locked horns as the same state rival. They were the only two clubs in the Indian Super League from a single state, which created an elite rivalry between the two. It lasted till Pune was disbanded. Pune was dissolved into Hyderabad FC for the 2019-20 season.
After FC Goa sacked their Head Coach Sergio Lobera, who won the League Shield in ISL season 6 with them, Mumbai quickly set up the Spaniard’s signing. Lobera is also responsible to lure some foreign and national players from FC Goa to Mumbai City FC. This is already creating a spark between the FC Goa fans and Mumbai City FC. He already signed some major fan favorite from FC Goa.
With a new coach and a whole bunch of experienced signing, Mumbai is looking at a short project at hand. They will go all-in by the looks of their spending. They signed some veterans also sought out some brilliant talents. The financial muscle of Mumbai City is well known in Indian Football. They are yet to reach a final over the last 5 years. But this year they will be hopeful.