Yangel Herrera likely took a look at SD Huesca’s schedule Thursday, and there’s some big clubs listed: home versus Atletico Madrid on Saturday; at Real Madrid March 31 and back to the 7,638-seat Estadio El Alcoraz for Barcelona April 14.
On Thursday, the La Liga Primera Division club signed Herrera, 21, on loan from Manchester City for the remainder of the season – thus concluding his two-year loan at New York City FC.
When Herrera requested to keep his jersey after the final regular home match of 2018 against the Philadelphia Union, it was apparent that the Venezuelan international understood his time with NYCFC had come to an end.
Founded 58 years ago, Huesca earned promotion to the top tier of Spanish soccer for the first time in club history this season. However, with a league-low -19 goal differential and only 11 points earned from 19 fixtures, Huesca sits at the bottom of the table and trails 19th-place Villareal by six points.
Recruited by Pep Guardiola and signed by Manchester City on a permanent basis in 2017, Herrera was immediately transferred to sister club NYCFC.
Herrera’s impact was prompt, and former NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira had no choice – the Venezuelan international pushed World Cup winner Andrea Pirlo out the lineup and into a reserve role.
In 2017, Vieira was asked which player on his roster he would take in the trenches with him if given the choice.
“Yangel Herrera – he’s tough,” Vieira said.
Herrera exhibited that quality in 2018 after suffering what the club said at the time was a season-ending ankle injury in late May. Herrera defied the medical staff and appeared in the penultimate match of the regular season at D.C. United. He was then instrumental in the franchise’s first playoff win – a 2-0 triumph over the Union in the knockout stage of the MLS postseason.
The midfielder finished his NYCFC career with one goal and six assists in 33 appearances.