Alexandru Mitrita has played a vital role for MLS side NYCFC in a 2020 hit hard by injuries, but he has played his last MLS game for a while.
Mitrita has moved on loan to Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli, NYCFC confirmed on Thursday. The loan, which includes a purchase option, will run through January of 2022.
“Due to Mitri’s personal circumstances during this pandemic, we felt it was the best move for all parties at this time to loan him to Al-Ahli,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said in a team-issued statement. “He’s certainly a player we believe in and has helped us win football matches in the past 18 months. We do not know how long these travel restrictions will last, so from a human perspective, we wanted to respect his wishes to be closer to his family.”
“It has been a very challenging time for me and my family,” Mitrita said in a release. “My wife and I are expecting the birth of our first child in the coming weeks and she was not able to be with me in New York. I want to sincerely thank the club for allowing me the opportunity to play football and be with my family. From day one the support from our fans has been excellent and I want to send love to all of the supporters. I wish the club and my teammates all the best for the rest of the season.”
The loan opens up a Designated Player spot and international roster spot for NYCFC, which currently sits in fifth place in the MLS Eastern Conference.
Mitrita made the move to NYCFC in February of 2019 and went on to score 12 goals and add three assists last season. The Romanian had filled in nicely for the injury absence of Heber, scoring four goals in his last two outings for the Eastern Conference club. In addition, his spark has helped ease the absence of fellow playmaker Maxi Moralez.
NYCFC posted a 4-1 win against D.C. United on Wednesday, the team’s third straight win.