Taty Castellanos says goodbye to NYCFC supporters at Yankee Stadium one last time on Saturday night. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
In what has been speculated for for the past week became a reality on Monday.
New York City FC announced that forward Taty Castellanos has been loaned to La Liga and City Football Group team Girona FC through June 2023.
Last season, Castellanos won the 2021 MLS Golden Boot, scoring 19 goals during the regular season and three goals during NYCFC’s 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs run, including one in the MLS Cup final as NYCFC won its first league title.
This season, Castellanos has scored a league-best 13 goals.
Castellanos’ final match for City was a 2-0 win at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night.
“I came to New York City four years ago and this experience has been everything I could have wanted,” Castellanos said in a statement. “It was here where I grew up and took my game to the next level. MLS is a strong and extremely competitive league with fantastic quality.
“I’ve always said that the people at the c: lub are incredible, it’s like a family. My teammates and the amazing staff that have spent so much time with me have helped me become the player I am today.”
The 23-year-old Castellanos was not quite finished.
“I was so proud to be able to win the Golden Boot last year and help the team bring home the club’s first MLS Cup for our fans – it is a special moment in my life and one that will live with me forever,” he added. “Thank you to the best fans in the league for always supporting me and cheering me on every single game, you’ve given me so much belief over the years.
“While it is difficult to leave this club, I strongly believe that this is the right time for me to move to Europe which has always been a personal dream of mine. I feel confident and ready for a new challenge. I would like to thank NYCFC and Girona FC for giving me this opportunity and for finding a way for me to continue my journey and prove myself.”
The Mendoza, Argentina native joined NYCFC on loan in 2018 from fellow CFG club Montevideo City Torque, scoring in his debut match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. NYCFC made his transfer permanent in November of that year.
Castellanos scored 53 goals and recorded 19 assists across 116 MLS regular season and MLS Cup Playoffs appearances. He is only the second player in NYCFC history to score 50-plus goals for the club. David Villa is the other player.
He also became the only player in club history to score four goals in a match during a 6-0 win past Real Salt Lake earlier this season.
“I’d like to thank Taty for the amazing contribution he’s made to the club since he joined us in 2018,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said in a statement. “His work ethic and commitment has been second to none and it’s been a pleasure to watch him continually improve his game and become such an important player for our team and one of the best players in the League. From winning the Golden Boot last season and leading the line as we won our first MLS Cup, he’s written his name in the NYCFC history books.
“Taty joined Montevideo City Torque at a young age and will now have the opportunity to show what he can do at a club we know well in one of the best leagues in Europe. His progression is also testament to the fantastic coaches we have here at NYCFC that are always looking to improve and support younger players. Taty is a prime example for the young players in our group that this is a great place to develop.
“We understand that he is eager to test himself in a new league and this option is the best for all parties where we are able to continue to take a long-term view of his career and what we ultimately believe he is capable of.
“At NYCFC we have an incredible group of players with a variety of strong attacking options. We have a tremendous amount of belief in these players and our goals for the season remain the same.”
Girona will start its La Liga season in August.