Alexandru Mitrita is sky high after scoring his first goal for NYCFC. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
BRONX — Alexandru Mitrita finally started his account for New York City FC.
He also started to give the club something back for its $8 million investment in him.
After going scoreless in the first two games of the season, the Romanian international midfielder tallied his first goal for the MLS club to lift City to a 1-0 lead before it wound up with a 2-2 draw with the Los Angeles Football Club at Yankee Stadium Sunday.
NYCFC head coach Domenec Torrent indicated fans had not seen the best of Mitrita just yet, that he has a way to go to be in full match fitness.
“Mitrița is a top player for us,” he said. “He’s a good player, that is the reason why the Club decided to sign this player. And we need to sign the right player. … I’m sure [he will grow] the next two or three games because it’s not easy for him when right here, right now, he’s not 100 percent fit. But you know when he has the ball we are better.”
The standout midfielder agreed.
“After three games I’m better, but I need a bit more time to be 100 percent,” he said. “But I have a lot of games left to get to 100 percent.”
Still, Mitrita was dangerous enough when he put City on the board in the 39th minute as he took a pass from Maxi Moralez on the left flank, ran into the penalty area and manunevered around three defenders to drill a shot into the upper right corner past goalkeeper Tyler Miller for a 1-0 margin. Three minutes later, a Mitrita blast bounded off the crossbar.
“It feels good for my first goal at home, but the result is not so good for us, but we have time,” Mitrita said. “We have so many games left so we have time to learn from mistakes.”
Twice NYCFC enjoyed one-goal leads and twice the hosts gave it back to the second-year team.
City has played three draws in its opening three matches of the season, including two at home.
“We need games because we just started,” Mitrita said. “It’s only been three games so have time to get better and with the international break we must come back stronger.”