Maxi Moralez: I’m “just focused on soccer, trying to make a strong push for the end of the season.” (Photo courtesy of MLS)
By Michael Lewis
Will he go or will he stay?
It could come down Maxi Moralez’s family.
There has been online speculation whether the talented New York City FC midfielder would return to Racing in Argentina when his contract with the Major League Soccer club expires next month.
Moralez, the mainstay of the attack and one of the league’s premier playmakers the past five seasons, reportedly has expressed interest in playing for Racing again, his first professional club, before he retires.
During a Zoom media call on Friday, the 34-year-old playmaker didn’t deny interest, but said he was focused on the playoffs, although he left a slight clue.
NYCFC hosts Atlanta United in an Eastern Conference first round match at Yankee Stadium on Sunday at 3 p.m.
“I’m just focused on season not really on personal,” he said through an interpreter. “Just focused on soccer, trying to make a strong push for the end of the season. I also haven’t heard from the club, but I know the club very well. I know the fans really appreciate me. But again, we’re just trying to finish the season strong, make a push to the end of the season; obviously want to get to Dec. 12, which is the finals and then we’ll take it from there. We’ll see what’s best for me and my family.”
Actually, the MLS Cup is Saturday, Dec. 11.
During his five-year tenure with NYCFC, Moralez has amassed 24 goals and a team-record 60 assists. His best season was in 2019 when he finished with seven goals and 20 assists. He has accumulated 11 goals and three assists in 30 games this season.
On Nov. 9, www.archysport.com reported about a possible return to Racing for Moralez.
According to TyC Sports that in Avellaneda, Argentina, Moralez reportedly said this: “I would like to close my career where I started it. One left Racing and I would be delighted to be able to finish it there. If Racing needs me, I’ll be there.”
Moralez is the highest paid player on NYCFC. According to the MLS Players Association, Moralez will earn $2.5 million as a base salary and $3.285 million in guaranteed compensation in 2021.
Is this the right time for Moralez to go?
We should know soon enough.