New York City FC signs Alexander Callens


by Christian Araos

New York City FC have finalized the signing of Peruvian international center back Alexander Callens from Numancia on a free transfer.

Callens, 24, will join NYCFC for preseason training in Florida while the club waits for his International Transfer Certificate and for him to receive his visa. He will join MLS for 2017 after a six-year career in Spain that started at Real Sociedad before he signed with Numancia in 2015.

He is described as a fast, strong left-footed center back and he said he the move will help his development.

“Of course it’s exciting to have a coach like Patrick Vieira with experience at a world level and who will guide me to help improve in my performance,” Callens told “I’m a player who pulls out the claws and leaves everything on the field, ready to defend the team, and I have a lot to learn but I’m sure I’ll meet the fans’ expectations.”

Callens is a full international who missed the final roster for last year’s Copa America Centenario but has made 10 appearances for Peru in his career. On the club level, he made 86 appearances for Real Sociedad’s B Team before another 40 with Numancia in the Spanish second division. Head coach Patrick Vieira said Callens’ abilities meet his criteria for central defender.

“He’s somebody who is hungry for success in his career, so I’m looking forward to him arriving here in Florida to train with us and to working with him,” Vieira said.

In signing Callens, City are now two-deep at left and right center back. Callens will challenge Maxime Chanot for opportunities on the left side. The club did not have to use allocation money in making the deal. Callens began his career with Young Boys in Peru making his senior debut as a 17-year-old in April 2010.

“We are excited to add a tall, quick, strong defender who we believe will fit into our style of play and is motivated to get started with our club,” sporting director Claudio Reyna said. “We believe that Alexander has the potential to improve further working with us and so we’re really happy to have added him to our roster for 2017.”