TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
The 23-year-old center back signs on a free transfer after playing in France for Gazelec Ajaccio.
“Cedric is a strong player who is dominant aerially and physically, he is excellent in one-v-one situations and is calm on the ball as well," NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira said in a team statement. "We were looking to strengthen our back four and Cedric is someone we were following for a long time. He’s a young defender with his best years ahead of him and there was a lot of interest in him. I think it says a lot that a young player in Europe wanted to come to us and believes in our project and the ambitions of our football club."
Hountondji was born in France, and came through the well-regarded Rennes youth set-up. Making his first-team debut there in 2013, he then spent time on loan at two Ligue 2 clubs, Chateauroux and Auxerre, before moving to fellow Ligue 2 side Gazelec in 2016.
He is also a Benin international, having made his debut in a friendly for the West African country in 2017. Previously, Hountondji was a French youth international.
“When I heard of the interest, I was very excited. I knew about NYCFC because I follow MLS. … I am not coming here just to live in a great city. I am coming to NYCFC, to the club, to give it my all," said Hountondji.
NYCFC begin the 2018 MLS regular season on March 4 at Sporting KC.