Ahead of their Super Cup Round-of-16 clash against Chennaiyin FC at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday, Mumbai City FC head coach Jorge Costa named his squad for the tournament, which, surprisingly, features only one foreigner - centre-back Lucian Goian.
Arnold Issoko, Modou Sougou, Rafael Bastos, Paulo Machado, Marko Klisura and Matias Mirabaje, who were all part of the Islanders' ISL squad, have been left out.
Costa, at the pre-match press conference, said the side are playing this tournament, with one eye on the future, and that was one of the major reasons for going in with Goian as the only foreigner in the squad.
"We are going to play this competition thinking about the next season. We have only one foreign player in Lucian Goian. There are some players who have the opportunity to play & show me that they have the qualities that I'm looking for," the Portuguese said.
Defender Mohammed Kaif Khan and midfielder Nakul Shelke have been called up to the senior squad for the first time, making the step up from the Islanders' U-18 team.
Costa also said that his side had unfinished business this season, after falling short in the ISL semifinal.
"Our performance was not enough because we wanted to play the final. We’ve had a wonderful season and we want to finish it on a good note in the Super Cup."
The Islanders were comprehensively beaten 5-1 in the first leg of their semifinal against FC Goa, at the Mumbai Football Arena. Even though they won the return leg in Goa, it was a mountain that was too tall to climb for them, after the first leg humbling.
Issoko had the most assists in the ISL, with seven, while Sougou finished third on the goalscoring charts, with 12 goals in the season. The Islanders will miss their prime attacking threats, but Costa will look to the likes of Bipin Singh and Pranjal Bhumij to step up and fill that void.
Full Mumbai City FC Squad for 2019 Super Cup
Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Ravi Kumar, Kunal Sawant
Defenders: Sanjay Balmuchu, Anwar Ali, Joyner Lourenco, Subhasish Bose, Lucian Goian, Souvik Chakrabarti, Mohammad Kaif Khan.
Midfielders: Milan Singh, Mohammad Rafique, Raynier Fernandes, Sanju Pradhan, Vignesh D, Sehnaj Singh, Bipin Singh, Nakul Shelke.
Forwards: Pranjal Bhumij, Alen Deory.Published 28 Mar 2019, 17:36 IST