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Left-back Braian Cufré joins NYCFC from RCD Mallorca

The 26-year-old Argentine defender will be on loan with an option to buy.

Braian Cufré | Courtesy RCD Mallorca

New York City FC continue to rebuild a badly depleted roster with the addition of Braian Cufré, a left-footed left-back from Argentina who will join from la Liga side RCD Mallorca, according to a statement issued earlier today. It confirms a rumor tweeted by journalist César Luis Merlo earlier this week.

The 26-year-old should compete for playing time with Malte Amundsen, the regular starter at left-back, and Kevin O’Toole, the former Princeton standout who became NYCFC head coach Nick Cushing’s surprise choice at that position for the final seven games of the 2022 season.

Cufré is a highly-regarded player who started regularly for Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield in Argentina’s Primera División for four years before joining Mallorca in 2020. He made 20 starts for Mallorca during the 2020-2021 season, when they were in the Segunda División, and 14 starts while on loan to Málaga CF during the 2021-2022 season, also in the Segunda División.

But he has struggled to find playing time now that he’s back with Mallorca, currently in 10th place in la Liga. Cufré is behind the 34-year-old Jaume Costa on the depth chart, and played only 220 minutes in la Liga this season.

Preliminary scouting indicates that Cufré could fit nicely into the progressive, possession-based system Cushing is developing at NYCFC. The defender has a Pass Completion rate of 82.6% according to FBRef, and he is comfortable on the dribble.

Journalist Jamie Ojeda first sounded the rumor of Cufré joining NYCFC back on January 23, which was then amplified by César Louis Merlo and others in the following days. 

Transfermrkt values Cufré at €1.2, down from €5 million in 2019.