Maxi Moralez (left) and Maxime Chanot celebrate winning MLS Cup. (Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports)
MLS Cup champion New York City FC will have its playmaker back for the 2022 season.
The Major League Soccer club announced Saturday that Maxi Moralez had signed a new contract with the team through the 2022 season with an option for 2023.
It is not a Designated Player contract.
Moralez’ salary was not known for this upcoming season. In 2021, he earned a base salary of $2.5 million and a guaranteed income of $3.285 million.
“I am very happy, and my family is happy too which is the most important thing to me,” Moralez said in a statement. “This was what we were always looking for, to try to continue with NYCFC, especially after finishing a beautiful year.
“We’re in one of the best cities in the world. I’ve been here five years now, the people have treated me marvelously, our fans have always shown me their affection. I feel very fortunate to be here longer at a Club and City that feels like home. I’m already looking forward to what this group can achieve together next season. We all want to have another incredible season.”
The Granadero Baigorria, Argentina native joined City prior to the 2017 season from Mexican side Club Leon and has been a vital part of the team. In 144 games and 136 starts, the 5-3, 115-lb. midfielder has registered 26 goals and 66 assists.
During the MLS CUP playoff run, Moralez accrued three assists and a 65th-minute equalizer in the Eastern Conference Final in Philadelphia. In 30 regular season games, Moralez recorded three goals and 11 assists.
“To have finished the objective that we set ourselves at the start of the year is very satisfying - to have won the Cup was a privilege and something I will never forget,” Moralez said.
“I want to thank our fans, to the board, to David Lee, Brad Sims and Ronny Deila that made it possible for me to continue on another year at the club. I want to thank the people that helped me and will continue to help me and that did everything possible for me to renew. Obviously to our fans, hopefully they enjoy their holidays, and next year we can continue to win trophies together.”
Moralez turns 35 on Feb. 27.
Lee, the NYCFC sporting director said that signing Moralez “was one of the main priorities of this off-season.”
“He will always have a very special place in the history of this club after being so instrumental in bringing us our first piece of silverware,” he continued.
“Throughout the past five seasons, Maxi has shown his quality and impact, not only for NYCFC, but proving that he has been one of the best MLS players during that period. Maxi is rightly a favorite amongst our fans and is very important to the attacking, possession football we want to play. Maxi is a senior player and a leader and his work ethic and professionalism sets an example to all here at the club. We look forward to next season and the continued and unique impact he has on the team.”