While New York City FC struggled for victories during the final third of the 2018 regular season, central defender Maxime Chanot was a player on board with his coach and the terms of post-season preparation.
On Saturday, Chanot signed a multi-year contract with the Cityzens under head coach Dome Torrent.
“I think this group, the coach and the club make ourselves ready for the playoff,” Chanot told Pro Soccer USA after City won two straight matches over the Philadelphia Union in the regular season finale and the knockout playoff match after winning just once in the previous nine outings. “That’s why maybe you think there’s an improvement because we made ourselves ready for that. I’m sure you see it on the pitch. The target was the playoff and we are here now.”
Shortly thereafter, New York City was eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals for the third consecutive season – this time by the eventual MLS Cup champion Atlanta United who barreled through City, the New York Red Bulls and Portland Timbers by a combined 9-2 in five matches.
Chanot scored the lone NYCFC goal in the Atlanta series.
“Maxime is an incredible player and we’re excited to have him back for the next few years,” Torrent said in the club’s release announcing that Chanot had re-signed.
The Luxembourg international did not have his option exercised at the conclusion of the season but the club maintained the right to negotiate a new deal.
“He is a key part of one of the best defensive pairings in the league and having him adds consistency to the backline ahead of next season,” Torrent said.
New York City FC radio commentator and former Millwall center back, Matt Lawrence, concurred.
“I think Chanot and Callens are only second behind (Aaron) Long and (Tim) Parker in terms of center back duos in the Eastern conference, if not the whole of MLS,” Lawrence said. “Chanot is probably the better defender of the two and Callens is noticeably more uncomfortable when Chanot is absent.”
Due to injury, international duty and coach decisions (Patrick Vieira and then Torrent) Chanot played in just 18 regular matches.
Chanot was obtained during the summer transfer window in 2016 and has played in 43 career regular matches along with five playoff games. He has totaled four goals including a key finish on Decision Day against the Union to secure home field for the knock-out round of the MLS playoffs.
Prior to the inking of a new deal, Chanot ranked 8th on the team with a total compensation package in excess of $408,000.