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Maxi Moralez returns to NYCFC

Maxi Moralez - NYC transfer return


New York City FC have reacquired a club legend, announcing Tuesday they signed Maxi Moralez after he recently left Argentine top-flight side Racing Club.

The free-agent move brings Moralez back to the Cityzens after eight months away, inking a contract through the 2024 MLS season.

Moralez previously spent 2017-22 with NYCFC, establishing a reputation as one of the best No. 10s in MLS history while memorably helping the club lift their first-ever trophy (MLS Cup 2021). He initially departed in late December to rejoin his boyhood team.

"We are thrilled to welcome Maxi back home to New York. We are obviously extremely familiar with the type of player and man Maxi is, and the impact Maxi has had on this club both on-and-off the field," NYCFC sporting director David Lee said in a release.

"... After a stint in Argentina, Maxi wanted to return home, and we were very happy to facilitate a move back to New York. Maxi is a leader, knows the league well and thrives in the high-pressure moments of the biggest matches. We have a run of extremely important games ahead of us and adding a player of his caliber and experience will be invaluable for our roster."

During his first stint at NYCFC, Moralez tallied 26 goals and 69 assists in 162 regular-season games. Now, he could rekindle a midfield partnership with James Sands and Keaton Parks. Alfredo Morales and Santiago Rodríguez are key midfield pieces as well.

"I felt like it was a debt I had to repay, being able to fulfill my family's dream of playing for my boyhood club once again," Moralez said upon his return to the Big Apple. "Now I am focused on adapting myself to the team as quickly as possible and helping Nick [Cushing, NYCFC head coach] and his staff support and develop this young squad.

"... To the fans, who have always had my back since day one, I can’t wait to be reunited."

The 36-year-old Argentine's return continues an attacking theme around NYCFC's summer transfer dealings. They also signed Costa Rican international forward Alonso Martínez, as well as U22 Initiative forwards Julián Fernández and Mounsef Bakrar.

All the while, NYCFC are looking to climb above the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs line. They're currently 13th in the Eastern Conference standings, four points off the postseason pace with 10 games to go.