It's rare for a team to come into a season with no way to quantify real expectations beyond what's on a roster. That's what New York City FC will begin to change when it takes the pitch for the first time this weekend. Here are three big questions going into the club's first season.
Where to look for leaders?
NYCFC has its fair share of veterans despite the delayed arrival of English midfielder Frank Lampard. Forward David Villa, the leading scorer in Spanish national team history, has been named the captain. Beyond Villa's lengthy experience in La Liga and Champions League play, NYCFC added experience from the MLS side with the likes of defenders Chris Wingert and Jason Hernandez.
"David is obviously the clear-cut leader of our team -- a guy whose résumé speaks for itself and a great guy on and off the field," Hernandez said. "We're going to follow his lead, but we won't have to go too far to look for leadership and direction in the locker room because there are a lot of guys who have been around, know the game and know the right way of going about things."
What role will Yankee Stadium play?
"I think Yankee Stadium is obviously going to be a place where a lot of people are going to look forward to playing and I think it's going to be on us to make sure that our mentality is that we need to protect our home field," Hernandez said.
Will it take time for the players to figure each other out?
"Everyone came into preseason in the same boat," goalkeeper Ryan Meara said. "It wasn't like you're coming to a new team that has been established for a good couple years. It's a good group of guys that really made the transition pretty easy for us."