Late in the offseason, New York City Football Club have bolstered the depth and stability in the middle third of the field with the acquisition of two midfielders: Maxi Moralez and Yangel Herrera. The two join a NYCFC side that finished second in the Eastern Conference – and earned the franchise’s first playoff bye – in only their second year in existence. The pair join seasoned veterans – such as David Villa and Andrea Pirlo – as well as up-and-coming young guns like Jack Harrison and Khiry Shelton in what will surely be an important season for New York City.

Attacking midfielder Maxi Moralez joins NYC from Mexican side Club Leon after just a year with the club. Moralez made a name for himself in his home country of Argentina before bouncing around clubs and finding relative stability at Atlanta in Seria A where he played for five years. The 29-year-old joins New York City as the third and final designated player on the roster. An extremely creative player, Moralez should have no problem sliding into the starting lineup alongside Pirlo and linking up with the attacking three. His pace and dribbling ability from the middle of the pitch will add another dimension to what already was a potent attack. In a press release by the club, Moralez gave his outlook on the club and the opportunity:

“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.” – Maxi Moralez

The 19-year-old celebrates while captaining the Venezuelan Under-20 National Team. Photo courtesy of @YangelHerrera8.

Another South American midfielder joins New York City FC in Yangel Herrera. The young Venezuelan takes a more holding defensive role and will be fighting for a spot in the starting XI right from the get go. The 19-year-old comes on loan from Manchester City – who share an ownership group with NYCFC – but may end up staying permanently if the match is a good fit for all parties involved. Herrera captained the Venezuela Under-20 National Team and even made his debut for the senior team in October of 2016. An exciting young prospect, Herrera will be a key addition to the depth of the squad and will only improve as time progresses. NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira sang his praises in a recent release, stating that Herrera is “a tactically intelligent midfielder who is strong in the tackle and reads the game well. Yangel also has good passing range and spatial awareness, which is crucial for a player in his position.” A short fan-made highlight video can be found here. Only time will tell if the loan will be seen as a success for failure.

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