Mumbai City FC has been an underwhelming force throughout their history of the past six years. Since the start of the league in 2014, MCFC has made it just once to the Playoffs stage, often finishing mid-table. The club’s rank was graced by some legends like Nicolas Anelka, Diego Forlan, and Sunil Chettri over the years. But this year Mumbai City FC is one of the hot favorites of ISL 2020-21. They finished their last season poorly under Jorge Costa. They finished 5th last season.
New Season, New Coach, New hope
Acquired by the CFG group earlier this year, Mumbai City identified a few key players in their scouting system. They have had a very busy transfer window this time around signing some top-notch players and a world-class coach.
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. 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 the 2019-20 season. Goa delivered some fantastic performances throughout the season. Along with him, he brought in some brilliant players from FC Goa, which sparked anger among the Goan fans. Mumbai has signed 4 players from FC Goa itself who were key to their top place finish in the league stage last season.
Hugo Boumous, Mourtada Fall, Ahmed Jahouh and Mandar Rao Desai has all joined the blues of Mumbai this season from FC Goa. Hugo Boumous was also awarded the HERO of the League (Best player of the tournament) award last season for his impressive performances.
Another blockbuster signing by MCFC is that of Bartholomew Ogbeche from Kerala Blasters FC who scored 15 goals in 16 appearances last season in HERO ISL.
They have also signed 3 foreigners on a loan deal- Adam le Fondre from Sydney FC, Cy Goddard from Italian club Benevento, and Hernan Santana from Spanish second-tier side Sporting Gijon. Farukh Choudhary, Vikram Pratap Singh and Mohamad Rakip are three interesting young Indian signings to lookout for.
They released Diego, Kevyn, and Sogou as part of their rebuilding process. A number of Indian players which included Mohammed Rafique was let go to various I-League and ISL clubs.
GOALKEEPERS: Amrinder Singh, Vikram Singh, Nishit Shetty, Phurba Lachenpa
DEFENDERS: Mourtada Fall, Mandar Rao Desai, Mehtab Singh, Amey Ranawade, Valpuia, Sarthak Golui, Tondonba Singh, Mohamad Rakip
MIDFIELDERS: Ahmed Jahouh, Bipin Singh, Cy Goddard, Asif Khan, Farukh Choudhary, Bidyananda Singh, Hernan Santana, Hugo Boumous, Pranjal Bhumij, Raynier Fernandes, Rowllin Borges, Sourav Das, Vikram Singh, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy
FORWARDS: Adam Le Fondre, Bartholomew Ogbeche
Their biggest positive ahead of this season is the ability to be able to bring a manager like Sergio Lobera into their ranks. With a good win percentage and finishing top in the league stage last season for FC Goa, he also convinced the core players from FC Goa to join him at Mumbai. They are also a decent goalscoring side with 25 goals in 18 games last season and are only set to improve this season under Lobera’s attacking style of play.
The positivity about Mumbai City FC's signings is that most of them have experienced playing in the HERO ISL already. Bartholomew Ogbeche is undoubtedly a sheer force on his day. With the ability to wreck opposition defenses, the Nigerian has a history of winning games on his own. He has scored 27 goals and 2 assists in 33 ISL appearances for both NorthEast United and Kerala Blasters.
The combination of Hugo Boumous and Bartholomew Ogbeche may prove deadly and create havoc in opposition defense.
Their influx of the number of transfers could lead to team chemistry being affected on the pitch. The uncertainty of not having a core that knows each other means Mumbai’s management has its task cut out to get all of them firing at the same time. They don’t have enough classical poachers in their ranks. Only Ogbeche and Fondre have to lead the attack. In such a long season if they get injured they will be facing their absence for sure.
GK: Amrinder Singh
DEFENCE: Sarthak Golui - Mourtada Fall - Tondonba Singh - Mandar Rao Desai
MIDFIELD: Ahmed Jahouh - Rowlin Borges - Raynier Fernandes - Hugo Boumous
ATTACK: Adam le Fondre - Barth Ogbeche
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