ORLANDO, Fla. – Entering his third season with New York City FC, Maxi Moralez is heading into what could be his most influential season with the club.
After posting a team-high 16 assists and recording eight goals with NYCFC, the Argentine Designated Player isn’t fazed by early talks about being an MVP candidate in 2019.
“To be honest, that’s not my objective,” Moralez said Saturday after NYCFC’s 2-1 loss to Orlando City in preseason play. “My main focus is on the group, which is the only thing on my mind. That goes with how we do during the season and seizing the opportunities. If in the end, that warrants an [MVP], I welcome it, but the most important thing is to improve from last year as a team, and obviously making it far in the playoffs.”
With David Villa gone to China, and the club taking a younger look in 2019, the 31-year-old Moralez said he hopes to approach his leadership role with NYCFC with humility, avoiding any ideas that this is his team now.
“No, I don’t think I can take that responsibility,” said Moralez. “The year I arrived, David Villa obviously was an important figure at the club and the players were below him. Now, he’s not here, so I think we’re all the same. I do hope that I can take this leadership role well and continue to have a good preseason, so I can help the team achieve its objectives.”
The addition of Alexandru Mitrita – who signed a DP deal with NYCFC earlier this month – will only help the club reach its objectives, said Moralez.
But for Domenec Torrent, it remains clear that Moralez will be an essential figure for NYCFC heading into the 2019 season.
“Maxi is very important for us, he is one of our DP’s and that’s important for the team,” said Torrent. “When you are in trouble and don’t have ideas, you can play with him because he’s a clever man and he can play like a No. 10 and even as a striker.”