Maximo Carrizo, who turned 14 on Monday, competed for FC Westchester at one time. (Photo courtesy of NYCFC)
NEW YORK – When New York City FC talks about getting younger, the club is not kidding.
NYCFC Monday announced it has signed 14-year-old Academy product Maximo Carrizo to a Homegrown contract through the 2027 season with an option year in 2028.
Carrizo, who turned 14 on Monday, became the youngest player to sign a first team contract in MLS history. The midfielder was the 10th Homegrown signing in team history since the Academy was formed in 2015.
After impressing with FC Westchester at the age of nine Carrizo attended an NYCFC summer camp in 2017. A Manhattan, N.Y. native of Argentinian heritage, Carrizo joined the NYCFC Academy from FC Westchester in 2018 as an Under-12 player. After four years in the Academy was invited to NYCFC’s first team Preseason ths year.
Last season Carrizo played in the U-15 MLS Next Playoffs and earlier this year, he was called into the U.S. U-15 Youth National Team Camp in Chula Vista, Calif.
“It’s an honor for me and my family to make MLS history by becoming the League’s youngest player to sign a first team contract,” Carrizo said in a statement through the team. ”This is an incredible club with amazing people, I’d like to thank everyone at NYCFC for believing in me and helping me take the next step in my career. I know I’m young and I have a lot to improve, but I am ready for the challenge and will work hard every day to show everyone what I am capable of.
“I already feel part of this club and I really believe that NYCFC is the perfect place for me to continue my development and grow on-and-off the pitch. It’s inspiring to see how NYCFC produces talent and how Homegrown players get the opportunity to play in the First Team. I know this will take some time, but I am willing to be patient and learn from the amazing group of players and coaches that we have at this club.”
The 5-3, 120-lb. Carrizo broke the record of forward Axel Kei of Real Salt Lake. Kei signed his first contract at 14 years, 15 days this January. He will be eligible to play for NYCFC II that will compete in the new MLS NEXT Pro League.
“We’re extremely happy to sign Maximo to his first professional contract,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said in a statement. “This is a historic moment for both the club and MLS. He’s a special and extremely talented player and it’s been exciting to watch him develop over recent years in our Academy. Maximo is now at the very start of his journey as a professional and the next stages of his development over the coming years will be ensuring he maximizes his potential through working with our coaches and all the support staff in the Academy, NYCFC II and the First Team.
“After Christian McFarlane, Maximo is the second 14-year-old we’ve signed to the first team in a matter of months which shows how much talent we have in that age group and throughout the Academy. There are so many talented midfielders at our club that he can watch and learn from, and the addition of MLS Next Pro will also help Maximo and all our Academy talents become better prepared for First Team football.
“This signing is further proof that NYCFC is one of the best environments for talent to develop and thrive as we continue to provide young footballers a pathway to professional soccer. I’d like to thank everyone in the Academy for the incredible work they do in identifying talent and helping these young players take a step towards achieving their dreams. We have so many great role-models for these young players to learn from.”