NYCFC has desperately been seeking some sort of “magic” to try and kick-start what’s left of the 2023 MLS season.
The exit from the MLS Leagues Cup tournament highlights the fact that the Cityzen offense has stalled, and this squad needs an infusion of offensive firepower.

NYCFC were active traders during the transfer market and drew upon their global City Football Group network for player additions.

With only ten regular season matches remaining, NYCFC finds itself in a do-or-die situation in terms of making the MLS Cup playoffs this season.

While the match against the New York Red Bulls showed a lot of tenacity and emotion on the pitch, the Cityzens did little to put the ball on frame in the attacking third.

In reality, this match was simply a microcosm of the problems that NYCFC has faced all season.

The question remains, what do you do as a franchise to find a way to win?

Welcome Back, Maxi!

NYCFC feels that one part of their puzzle can be found in seeking out former Cityzen hero Maxi Moralez on the free transfer market.  The Argentine midfielder was part of the heart and soul of NYCFC from 2017 through the 2022 season and part of the 2021 MLS Cup championship squad.  While with the Cityzens, Moralez had 26 goals and 69 assists in 162 matches played, so if anything else, Moralez was very productive on the attacking end.

Moralez returned to his native Argentina after last season to complete what was more than likely his farewell tour with Racing Club, a squad he joined in 2005 as a young rookie.  NYCFC took advantage of Moralez’s availability and picked him up as a free transfer this summer, and he’s signed through the 2024 season.

Maxi Moralez
Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

Will Maxi help NYCFC make the playoffs?

That, my friends, is the million-dollar question, and there is no clear-cut answer to the question as to whether or not NYCFC has a shot at making the MLS Cup playoffs this fall.  The Cityzens currently sit in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, looking northward on the MLS table.  That northward gaze is getting bigger, and when the MLS regular season resumes after the Leagues Cup tournament, NYCFC more than has their work cut out for them.

Can Maxi Moralez and Company actually help put NYCFC into the playoffs?

Remember, Moralez is a great player, but at 36 years old, he’s in the twilight of his illustrious career.  I’m certainly not insinuating that Moralez won’t make an impact on the Cityzens; if anything, his presence may very well help shore up the midfield and create more chances for the attacking third to take more shots on goal.

The addition of Moralez, combined with the new striker addition in the form of Mounsef Bakrar, maybe the newfound keys to any kind of offensive creativity that has been sorely lacking this season for NYCFC.

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