A familiar face will wear the New York City FC colors again.
The MLS club Tuesday announced that midfielder Maxi Moralez, who left the squad after the 2022 campaign, has returned to the team as a free agent through the 2024 season.
The 36-year-old Moralez had left the squad to play for his boyhood club Racing Club in Argentina. He made 23 appearances across all competitions scoring one goal and providing three assists. Moralez’s assist in the Supercopa International helped Racing defeat Boca Juniors to win his first trophy with the club.
Given how difficult City has had trying to put goals into the net on a consistent basis this season, any help with do, even if it was up to a veteran midfielder nearing the end of his career.
“We are thrilled to welcome Maxi back home to New York,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said in a statement. “We are obviously extremely familiar with the type of player and man Maxi is, and the impact Maxi has had on this Club both on-and-off the field. In addition to the contribution he can make on the pitch, Maxi will bring leadership and experience to our young group of players and will now have an important role in helping their development.
“After a stint in Argentina, Maxi wanted to return home, and we were very happy to facilitate a move back to New York. Maxi is a leader, knows the league well and thrives in the high-pressure moments of the biggest matches. We have a run of extremely important games ahead of us and adding a player of his caliber and experience will be invaluable for our roster.”
Arriving in 2017 as the club’s fourth Designated Player, Moralez played 194 matches, scoring 36 goals and providing 60 assists across all competitions. He collected an MLS Cup, Campeones Cup, an MLS All-Star, MLS Best XI, and NYCFC Team MVP nod along the way.
“I’m coming home,” Moralez said in a statement.”This club and this City mean everything to me and my family, I couldn’t be more excited. I am grateful to the Club, David Lee and Nick Cushing for giving me this new opportunity. When I left, I knew I wanted to return in some capacity, I missed the City, the people, the environment and the day-to-day. After so many years together, from the many shared experiences to all the people I came across, this is my home. I know the club, the coaches, staff, and some of the guys very well, they always have treated me and my family well, so it was a place I wanted to come back to.
“Saying goodbye to NYCFC was really tough, but it was a special seven months in Argentina. I felt like it was a debt I had to repay, being able to fulfil my family’s dream of playing for my boyhood Club once again. Now I am focused on adapting myself to the team as quickly as possible and helping Nick and his staff support and develop this young squad. I will use my experience to help them understand what the coaching staff is asking of them, what it means to play for this Club, and make them feel like they are at home both on-and-off the field. It’s fundamental that everyone is in line, working together for the group, the championships and success we have experienced have been due to that, and that’s what we will be looking to replicate.
“To the fans, who have always had my back since day one, I can’t wait to be reunited. Your support and the love that you have shown me has motivated me through the highs and lows. We have to fight, the fans and the team, together working for the same objective, it’s helped us win trophies so it’s important that we do the same. I am another fan on the field, fighting until the end, I am excited to play in front of you once again and hope to bring this passionate fanbase more exciting moments.”