by Christian Araos
Maxi Moralez has signed a three-year deal with New York City FC filling the club’s vacant designated player spot, the club said Wednesday.
Moralez, who will turn 30 in two weeks, is an attacking midfielder from Argentina who had been with Club León in Mexico since 2015. He made 25 appearances for León scoring six times. Moralez will join NYCFC for preseason training after his ITC and visa paperwork is completed. Terms of the transfer agreement were not disclosed.
“When I heard of the opportunity to go to NYCFC, I knew that it was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” Moralez told NYCFC.com “I know that the league is growing a lot and we have a lot of great players – I’m looking forward to playing with players like David Villa and Andrea Pirlo who are two world-class champions who have achieved a lot in their careers. Also, to have a quality coach like Patrick Vieira, who has been one of the best in his position, recognized worldwide, is something that will help me immensely. With the experiences he’s had in his career, it will be very important to help make this club great.”
Moralez can play centrally or out wide as either an attacking midfielder or an attacking winger. Before playing in Mexico, Moralez spent parts of five seasons with Atalanta in Italy’s Serie A making 109 appearances scoring 16 goals and 17 assists. He previously played for Racing and Vélez Sarsfield winning the Argentine championship twice. Sporting director Claudio Reyna said that Moralez is a playmaker who will give the team what it needs in the final third.
“He’s extremely motivated and determined to do well and is excited for the challenge of playing for New York City FC,” Reyna said.“He is a versatile player who will be used behind the striker but can also play in wide areas in Patrick’s system. Maxi is an experienced player in the prime of his career and will be a positive influence for our younger players.”
Moralez has one appearance with Argentina’s national team on the senior level but won the Silver Ball at the 2007 FIFA U20 World Cup in Canada. In his preseason conference call, Coach Patrick Vieira said the team’s third designated player would be someone who could help the club reach another level. Vieira added that Moralez expressed an interest in coming to NYCFC and performing well.
“We are really delighted to sign Maxi because he has a lot of experience at the highest level – he’s played in Italy with lots of game in Serie A and also most recently in Mexico – he’s a player who has a lot of talent and he’s going to be a really good addition to the team,” Vieira said.“Maxi is dynamic, he’s direct and he’s very good in one v. one situations. He can create chances and can score goals. He’s a really creative player who can make an assist – he can create something from nothing and I believe that our fans will love him.”