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NYCFC sign Costa Rican attacker Alonso Martínez

Martínez becomes the third attacking player signed this summer to help bolster the anemic NYCFC attack.

Quick, forget about that boring and depressing Hudson River Derby defeat: New York City FC signed a new attacker in 24-year-old Costa Rican forward Alonso Martínez.

Martínez joins NYCFC in a transfer from another City Football Group club, Lommel SK in Belgium’s second division, though the financial terms of the deal were not released by NYCFC—though the “terms” of a CFG-to-CFG transfer feel somewhat unimportant.

Alonso Martínez was first said to be moving to NYCFC earlier this week, and the club has now officially confirmed his arrival on a permanent basis on a contract that runs through 2025. He was spotted in attendanceat the Leagues Cup edition of the Hudson River Derby and becomes the third attacking player signed this summer to help bolster the anemic NYCFC attack.

Mounsef Bakrar is now two starts into his NYCFC career, while young Argentine winger Julián Fernández was officially unveiled earlier this week and is awaiting a visa before joining with the rest of his teammates. Maxi Moralez also looks likely to still rejoin NYCFC after terminating his contract with Racing Club in Argentina, so numerous new faces are arriving to try and help NYCFC find goals and wins over their last 10 remaining MLS games. 

Martínez had eight goals and seven assists in 30 appearances for Lommel during the 2022-2023 season in Belgium’s second division, the Challenger Pro League. He also has ample experience playing professionally in his native Costa Rica, where he made 65 appearances with LD Alajuelense and 53 with Guadalupe FC, scoring 30 goals and notching 18 assists. 

This is a more experienced attacking signing than the young and possibly still-raw Fernández, as Martínez is a seasoned pro familiar with both Europe and the North American soccer scene, and is likely someone who NYCFC will be hoping can hit the ground running in MLS. 

NYCFC are once again tapping into the CFG talent pool by signing Martínez from a “sister” club, an approach that has worked well in the past with Taty Castellanos and Santiago Rodríguez to name just two. 

The team was explicit in referring to Martínez as a forward in their official announcement of his signing, though Martínez has mainly operated as a winger in his career to date. His arrival seems likely to create competition for minutes with players like Talles Magno, Andres Jasson and Matías Pellegrini, as well as with the newly-arrived Fernández. 

There are now 16 days between matches for Martínez and the other new NYCFC recruits to get all their necessary visas squared away and get on the training ground to build some chemistry before the season’s final stretch run and potential MLS Cup Playoff push begins.