There’s a new addition in the ISL Teams series, “Mumbai City FC” a franchise from our very own city of dreams. There’s a lot to know about this team but first, let’s get all the important information about Mumbai FC like, who are the players playing for the club in the ongoing Indian Super League season, and how it was formed.
Mumbai City FC Club Profile
Basic Information about Mumbai City FC
Full Name: Mumbai City Football Club
Nickname: The Islanders
Founded: 30 August 2014
Home Ground: Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai
Head Coach: Jorge Costa
Affiliation: Indian Super League
Official Website: http://www.mumbaicityfc.com/
How Mumbai City FC was formed?
As AIFF along with IMG-Reliance was going to accept the bids for the football franchise in India for the Indian Super League in early 2014, Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor and chartered accountant Bimal Parekh jointly decided to make a bid for the Mumbai franchise.
Later in August 2014, an official announcement was made that Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh have won the bid for the club.
Later this year, it was announced that City group of football has bought the majority of the shares in the club which makes them the joint co-owner along with Ranbir Kapoor, and Bimal Parekh for the Mumbai franchise
2014 Inaugural Season
On 4th September 2014, Mumbai City FC appointed Peter Reid a former Manchester City and England U-21 manager as their head coach. Later in the same month, the club then went on to sign Nicolas Anelka who was a free agent after he completed his spell in West Bromwich Albion.
Just three days after signing of Anelka, the club signed Freddie Ljungberg as the team’s first marquee player as he was returning from two years of retirement
Mumbai City FC played their first match of the inaugural season without Anelka and Ljungberg they played against ATK at Salt Lake Stadium. In that match, Mumbai City FC had to face defeat by 3-0. But they bounced back on their very next game where they faced their bitter rivals Pune City FC.
In that game, Mumbai won by 5-0 and was the only game where the team that scored the most goals didn’t concede any. Andre Mortiz was the first player to score a hat-trick in the ISL 2014 season.
Mumbai City FC ended the inaugural ISL season in the seventh position where they were able to register only 4 wins out of the 14 played.
As per the performance by the team in the last season, the club decided to sack Peter Reid and Nicolas Anelka replaced him as a player-manager. In the same season, the club signed the all-time top scorer and captain fantastic the Indian Football team Sunil Chhetri for a record-breaking deal of ₹1.2 Crore.
The start of the new season didn’t turn out as expected for the club as they failed to register a win in their first three matches against Pune City, Kerala Blasters, and Chennaiyin FC. Mumbai City registered their first win of the season against Delhi Dynamos 2-0 and both of the goals were scored by Sunil Chhetri.
After the win, the club again failed to win a match and went on a seven-game winless streak and ended the season with a win against ATK by 3-2. Sunil Chhetri was the top scorer of the club as he scored 7 goals in that season.
Alexandre Guimaraes Era (2016–2018)
After a spell of disappointing first two seasons, Mumbai City FC’s management made some huge changes as they appointed former Costa Rican national team manager Alexandre Guimaraes as the club’s head coach.
The club even moved to their new home ground Mumbai Football Arena and also signed the 2010 World Cup Golden Ball winner Diego Forlan on a three months contract as their marquee player with an option to extend for another year.
The Uruguayan changed the dynamics of the club as from being the struggling team, the club was one of the title contenders of the season.
The club started the season with a win against Pune City by a narrow margin of 1-0. Diego Forlan scored the first hat-trick of the season when Mumbai City FC defeated Kerala Blasters by 5-0 at Mumbai Football Arena. The hat-trick was also the first hat-trick by any marquee player in the history of ISL.
The club went on to finish at the top of the table by winning 6 and drawing 5 games and scoring 23 points on the run. The team played their first playoffs in 3 seasons and were drawn against fourth-place ATK in the semi-finals. Mumbai lost the semi-finals by lost the first leg 3-2 and a goalless draw in the second leg.
At the end of the season, the team was the one to concede the least number of goals (8) and kept 8 clean sheets in the group stage.
After guiding the club to their first-ever playoffs in three seasons the Mumbai franchise continued to work with Alexandre Guimaraes. The club re-signed Amrinder Singh for ₹1.2 Crore as he was the best goalkeeper in the 2016 season, and also kept the record clean sheets for the club. They also retained Sehnaj Singh who was instrumental in the club’s success in the earlier season.
The club started the campaign with a loss against the debutants Bengaluru FC 2-0. In that match, Edu and their former player Sunil Chhetri scored the goals in the 67th and 93rd-minute respectively.
As per the performance by the team in the last season, the 2017-18 season didn’t turn out as expected as they finished 7th in the table. Out of the 18 games played, the club only managed to win 7 games and drew 2 in the process.
In the same year, Mumbai City FC took part in the first edition of the Super Cup. They kicked off the campaign by a smooth win against Indian Arrows by 2-1 in the qualifier round. However, they were defeated by East Bengal FC in the Round of 16.
In mid-August 2018, Mumbai City FC officially announced that the club and Alexandre Guimaraes have parted ways by mutual consent.
Jorge Costa Era (2018–present)
After the announcement of parting ways with Guimaraes, the Islanders went on to sign former Portuguese international Jorge Costa as the head coach for the 2018-19 Indian Super League season.
The team started the campaign with a 2–0 loss to Jamshedpur at home, which followed by a 1–1 draw against Kerala Blasters. Then in the third match, the team recorded a 2–0 win against FC Pune City, and again with a loss to FC Goa by 5–0.
By winning only 1 match out of the 4 played, Costa made some interesting tactical changes which led to the club’s 9 games unbeaten run in the season which is also their best in the club’s history.
The team went on to finish the regular season by registering 9 wins and 3 draws out of the 18 played and booked their spot for the second time in the playoffs.
In the semis, the team was drawn against the 2nd place FC Goa where they hosted Goa in the first leg. In that match, Mumbai City FC faced a huge defeat of 1-5 and was out of the title race as both the legs ended on an aggregate 5-2.
Even though Mumbai lost in the playoffs, Arnold Issoko won the DHL Winning Pass of the League Award as he had the maximum number of 8 assists in the season & Modou Sougou with Bartholomew Ogbeche became joint second goal scorer as they both scored 12 goals throughout the season. Amrinder Singh ended the league with the most saves & again had the most number of clean sheets (6).
Mumbai City FC 2019-20 Season Squad
The squad of Mumbai City FC for the current season is
Head Coach: Jorge Costa
Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Ravi Kumar, and Kunal Sawant
Defenders: Pratik Chaudhari, Subhasish Bose, Davinder Singh, Souvik Chakrabarti, Hmingthanmawia, Sarthak Golui, Anwar Ali, and Mato Grgic
Midfielders: Sourav Das, Mohammed Rafique, Paulo Machado, Raynier Fernandes, Bidyananda Singh, Rowllin Borges, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Mohamed Larbi, Surchandra Singh, and Bipin Singh
Forwards: Serge Kevyn, Amine Chermiti, Pranjal Bhumij, Diego Carlos, Alen Deory, and Modou Sougou