'Frasquito' Will Play Attacking Midfielder Or Wing, And Be Counted On To Help Make Up For Lampard's Departure

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City Football Club is adding some flash and dash to its offense.

The club announced Wednesday that it has signed Argentinian international Maxi Moralez as its third Designated Player. Moralez, 29, most recently played for Leon of Mexico’s Liga MX, and has also suited up for clubs in Russia and Italy during his career.

Moralez’s three-year contract is subject to receipt of his P1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate. He figures to be an attacking midfielder or winger in head coach Patrick Vieira’s lineup.

“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 games 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,” Vieira said.

“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.”

Known as “Frasquito,” Moralez may be small in stature, listed at just 5-foot-3, but he will bring speed and quickness to an NYCFC side that already has a fine mix of seasoned veterans and youngster on the way up.

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Moralez said he’s excited about coming over to Major League Soccer.

“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,” Moralez said.

More than anything else, Moralez will be counted on to help make up for the goals lost by Frank Lampard’s departure.

Lampard scored 12 in 19 games last season for NYCFC, which finished in second place in the Eastern Conference during the regular season, but was eliminated by Toronto in the conference semifinals.

“Maxi is dynamic, he’s direct and he’s very good in one-v-one situations,” Vieira said. “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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