NEW YORK – On the eve of its first leg of the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal match vs. Tigres, New York City FC Tuesday announced that Efraín Juárez has joined the club as part of head Ronny Deila’s staff.

A former Mexican international, Juárez played for Deila at Norwegian club Vålerenga in 2019. During his 11-year professional career, Juárez played for Celtic FC and Real Zaragoza in Europe, as well as stints in his native Mexico at UNAM, Club América, and CF Monterrey.

Juárez is familiar with MLS having spent the 2018 season with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, making 16 appearances.

“The opportunity to be reunited with Ronny was an easy decision for me and I am very excited to join NYCFC,” Juarez said. “I am so grateful to everyone here, especially to Ronny and David Lee. I can’t think of a better Club to be at as I begin this new chapter of my professional career.

“I’m looking forward to passing on my experiences as a player and I hope this will be a valuable asset in helping to develop our players into the best professionals they can be. Off the pitch, I’m looking forward to working with our coaching and technical staff to implement individual development plans so the players can reach their on-pitch goals and the objectives that we set for them.”

Born in Mexico City, the former midfielder and defender spent time in the youth academy at UNAM and the famed La Masia academy at FC Barcelona. Juárez made his debut for the Mexican national team in 2009, eventually making 39 appearances including at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

“I’m really happy to welcome Efraín into our staff and it’s great to be reunited after working with him in Norway,” Deila said. “He knows what it takes to be a professional player at the highest level, and he will bring great experience and energy as he works closely with our players to help them develop every day.

“I’m excited for him to join us and I’m confident he’ll make an immediate impact.”

Juárez has been part of numerous title-winning teams across his playing career. As a player, he won various trophies at UNAM, América and Monterrey. Internationally, in 2005 Juárez was part of the Mexican national team who won the Under-17 World Cup championship. At the senior level, he was part of two Concacaf Gold Cups in 2009 and 2011.