New York City FC have landed their third Designated Player.
NYCFC announced on Wednesday that they’ve signed 29-year-old attacking midfielder Maximiliano Moralez to a three-year DP contract from Liga MX side Club Leon.
Moralez, who will turn 30 on Feb. 27, joins New York City after spending the last 13 months with Leon, where he recorded seven goals and 10 assists in 34 appearances across all competitions. The 5-foot-3, 115 pound attacker had one goal and two assists in three appearances in the current Clausura campaign.
“I know that the league is growing a lot and we have a lot of great players,” Moralez said in a statement released by NYCFC. “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 make this club great.”
Prior to moving to Leon in January 2016, Moralez spent four and a half seasons with Italian Serie A team Atalanta. He made 142 appearances for the club, recording 18 goals and 26 assists in Serie A action.
Moralez began his professional career with Racing Club in his native Argentina in 2005, tallying eight goals in 48 appearances with the team before transferring to Russian side FC Moscow in 2007. He stay in Russia was short, as he only made six appearances with Moscow before being loaned back to Racing in 2008.
In 2009, he was bought by Argentine side Velez Sarsfield, who he helped to a league title in his first season. He recorded 20 goals in 72 games for Velez before eventually moving to Atalanta in July 2011.
Internationally, Moralez has one appearance with the senior Argentine national team, appearing in a friendly win against Venezuela in March 2011. He was a member of the Argentina team that won the 2007 Under-20 World Cup, finishing the tournament with the third most goals of any player and being named the second best player in the tournament, behind only Sergio Aguero.
NYCFC indicated in their statement that Moralez will mainly be used underneath the striker, but can also play in wide areas.
“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 games 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 in the statement.
“He’s demonstrated his desire to come to the football club and to do well, so I’m really happy that he’s decided to join us.”
MLS FANTASY PRICE:
Maxi Moralez – Midfielder – $9.0
SIMILAR TO: Ethan Finlay, Romain Alessandrini, Sebastian Blanco