As noted by our friends at Empire of Soccer and elsewhere, New York City's interest in one particular CONCACAF starlet is no secret.
As Adrian Mendoza of CRHoy.com writes, Costa Rica international Rónald Matarrita is looking to make a move from Alajuelense, whose sporting director has stated that the player fancies either New York or Europe.
Alajuelense won three straight Apertura (winter) titles in the Costa Rican Primera División from 2011 to '13, and was eliminated in the semifinals of the past season's CONCACAF Champions League on goal difference by Montreal Impact. Matarrita, age 21, joined the club in 2012.
Signing a left back -- perhaps two -- is an immutable priority for Patrick Vieira & Claudio Reyna. As it stands, Chris Wingert is the only NYCFC player with MLS experience in that slot following the expired loans of Javier Calle and Angelino. With that in mind, let's get to know this talented Tico.
NAME: Rónald Alberto Matarrita Ulate
D.O.B.: 9 July 1994
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE: 2 caps for Costa Rica since debuting in 2015
FAVORED FOOT: Left
ALTERNATE POSITION: Left midfield
CLUB STATS: 4 goals and 6 assists in all competitions for Alajuelense (78 games)
ESTIMATED MARKET VALUE: Per Transfermarkt, $300,000
It's self-evident that New York City could use an athletic overlapping talent such as he. If Matarrita signs and ends up looking a lot like, say, a full-season version of Angelino, that's a win for the front office. If the move doesn't pan out and Matarrita bails for the Championship or the Eridivisie or similar product, there will be increased pressure on New York City to answer the left back question at January 14th's SuperDraft.