By MATT STYPULKOSKI
New York City FC’s backline is about to receive some much-needed reinforcements.
The expansion club announced the addition of two fullbacks on Tuesday – Manchester City wunderkind Jose Angel Tasende and Athletic Bilbao veteran Andoni Iraola.
Iraola, who turns 33 next week, has spent his entire senior-team career with Athletic Bilbao. Over the course of 12 seasons, the right back made 510 appearances and scored 38 goals for the Spanish club.
In addition, Iraola was capped seven times by the Spanish national team, where he crossed paths with NYCFC striker David Villa. He will join the club on a free transfer.
“We look forward to having Andoni at the club,” NYCFC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said in a statement. “His level of professionalism and humility is exactly what we want to have at New York City FC. His experience playing at the highest level will be a great influence to the younger members of the squad.
“He’s not going to wear the captain’s armband, but essentially we’re adding another captain to the team.”
Tasende, who goes by the nickname Angelino, is an 18-year-old left back. He will join the club on a season-long loan from Manchester City after spending the season playing for the English club’s Elite Development Squad, which is a U-21 team.
“Angelino is a talented young player that I became very familiar with when I spent my five months over in Manchester,” NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis said in a statement. “Immediately, he was somebody that I liked. I was impressed with his character, the way he trained and the effort he gave to the team on the pitch. I couldn’t be more pleased that we’ve been able to bring him into this squad.”
Both Angelino and Iraola will join NYCFC when the MLS secondary transfer window opens on July 8, pending physicals and the necessary visas.
What do you make of NYCFC’s additions? How will Angelino and Iraola fit into the squad? See NYCFC making any more moves this summer?
Share your thoughts below.