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February 15, 2017
NYC FC makes Moralez team's third Designated Player

New York City FC has signed Argentinian midfielder Maximiliano (Maxi) Moralez to a three-year contract, the team announced Wednesday.

Moralez, the team’s third Designated Player, has been playing for Club Leon in Mexico.

“When I heard of the opportunity to go to NYCFC, I knew that it was a possibility that I couldn’t pass up,” Moralez said. “I know that the league is growing a lot and we have a lot of great players – I’m looking forward to playing with players like David Villa and Andrea Pirlo who are two world-class champions who have achieved a lot in their careers.

“Also, to have a quality coach like Patrick Vieira, who has been one of the best in his position, recognized worldwide, is something that will help me immensely. With the experiences he’s had in his career, it will be very important to help make this club great.”

Said Vieira: “We are really delighted to sign Maxi because he has a lot of experience at the highest level – he’s played in Italy with lots of game in Serie A and also most recently in Mexico – he’s a player who has a lot of talent and he’s going to be a really good addition to the team.

“He’s demonstrated his desire to come to the football club and to do well, so I’m really happy that he’s decided to join us. Maxi is dynamic, he’s direct and he’s very good in one v. one situations. He can create chances and can score goals. He’s a really creative player who can make an assist – he can create something from nothing and I believe that our fans will love him.”
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Moralez began his career with 17-time Argentine champions Racing.

Moralez spent three seasons on the Racing first team roster, then moved to FC Moscow. Moralez returned to Racing on loan, scoring the decisive goal against Belgrano to the team away from relegation in the 2007-08 season.

Moralez then joined Velez Sarsfield, scoring the winning goal against Huracan to clinch the Argentine title on the final day of the season. Moralez won a second title with Velez in 2011 and helped the team to the semifinals of the Copa Libertadore, scoring five goals in 12 games.

Moralez, born in Granadero Baigorria, totaled 109 games (16 goals) with Atalanta in Italy’s Serie A from 2011-15, the team racking up a club record points tally in his first season.

Moralez played 25 games as Leon finished eighth place last year.

Moralez was a teammate of Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria in Argentina’s FIFA U-20 World Cup-winning squad, earning the Silver Ball and the Bronze Shoe awards with four goals.

Moralez earned his first senior cap in a 4-1 friendly win over Venezuela in March 2011.

“Maxi’s a creative player who will add what we needed in the final third of the field with his ability to create goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates,” NYC FC sporting director Claudio Reyna said. “He’s extremely motivated and determined to do well and is excited for the challenge of playing for New York City FC. He is a versatile player who will be used behind the striker but can also play in wide areas in Patrick’s system. Maxi is an experienced player in the prime of his career and will be a positive influence for our younger players.”

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