SECAUCUS, N.J. - The MetroStars announced today that 2005 MetroStars Honda MVP and French World Cup Champion Youri Djorkaeff will return for the club's 2006 Major League Soccer season.
"We're thrilled to have Youri back. He's been the ideal international signing," said MetroStars President and General Manager Alexi Lalas. "He is an exciting player who can perform at the MLS level, an experienced professional willing to mentor our younger players and an ambassador for the league on and off the field."
"Getting Youri back is very positive for the club," said MetroStars Head Coach Mo Johnston. "Certainly Youri was one of our best players last season, and I expect him to perform at the same level, if not higher, this season. As a World Cup winner, he has something that no other player in this league has, and his leadership is invaluable."
In 2005, Djorkaeff's first in MLS, the 37-year old forward tallied 10 goals and seven assists in the regular season. His most memorable goal may have been his game-winning strike in a win over D.C. United on October 8 at RFK Stadium that propelled the MetroStars on their playoff run.
In addition to his regular season contributions, Djorkaeff tallied the club's lone goal in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on October 29.
Djorkaeff's leadership role with the MetroStars was also evident in 2005, as he wore captain's armband before the team's 2-1 win over Columbus on August 14, and he maintained the responsibility for the remainder of the season.
In addition to the 2005 MetroStars Honda MVP Award, Djorkaeff also claimed the 2005 Metrostars.com Player of the Year Award as well as the 2005 MetroStars Newcomer of the Year Award. He also named MLS Player of the Week for week 19 after he tallied two goals at FC Dallas on August 6.