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2023 Player Preview: Maximo Carrizo

The sky is the limit for the youngest-ever player to sign an MLS contract, but is he ready to make the leap to the Senior Team at age 15?

He wears it well.
Photograph by Katie Cahalin, courtesy

Maximo Carrizo

Age: 14 (outrageous)
Position: Central Midfielder
2022 MLS Next PRO Stats: 7 appearances, 3 starts, 292 minutes played
Key Stat: 14, which was Carrizo’s age to the day upon signing his NYCFC contract, which made him the youngest first-team signing in MLS history.

What went right in 2022:

Signing a Homegrown contract on his 14th birthday was a strong way to kickstart Maximo Carrizo’s 2022 ascent. The academy product made his professional debut with NYCFC II almost five months to the day of his signing, coming on as an 83rd minute sub in a match won via shootout (with goalkeeper Luis Barraza nailing the decisive PK). He went on to make six more appearances in MLS Next PRO, including three starts.

Carrizo’s international stock also rose in 2022, peaking with a prestigious call-up to Argentina’s U-17 squad in November — that’s a two-age-group bump in competition level. Since then, the Manhattan-born youngster has also become the subject of much speculation regarding his national team future. Carrizo has been with the United States U-15 squad in the past, but his last call-up came back in January 2022. His dad, an active Twitterer with Argentina’s badge as his profile pic, says the national team decision will ultimately be his son’s to make.

What to improve:

Considering Carrizo is in his tweens, the easy answer is that he needs to continue to “mature physically.” Simply put, he needs to grow up.

Still, the 14-year-old just spent 2022 competing with professional players on the cusp of MLS who were many years older and far more physically advanced than him. The next big test for the promising teen midfielder would then seem to break through at the MLS level. He’s been on the fast track since becoming literally the youngest-ever player to sign with MLS, but will he be ready at age 15 for the uniquely demanding physical challenges the league can present? Basically, can a 15-year-old really do it on a humid, stormy Saturday night in late August in Cincinnati?

What to expect in 2023:

Carrizo has been heavily involved in NYCFC’s 2023 preseason, earning starts in every single friendly the club has played to date ahead of the 2023 campaign. No one else on the roster has gotten as many looks as a creative central midfielder alongside the likely NYCFC starters. This early 2023 usage combined with the current state of the club’s midfield depth chart (that state: almost all the midfielders are gone) makes it seem like there’s a good chance young Maximo makes his MLS debut this season.

Could this be the year we witness a seamless Maxi-to-Maximo changing of the guard in the No 10 role? Carrizo’s debut might come as soon as the season opener in Nashville, which falls three days before his 15th birthday. Rebuilding teams tend to rely heavily on their youth, and NYCFC in particular has never shied away from playing their most prized and promising young players when they’ve deemed them ready for it.

Carrizo is as promising as they come, and given his pedigree and the torn-down status of the NYCFC roster as of January 2023, he seems to have a clear path to a not-insignificant role with the first team this season.

2023 NYCFC Player Previews

• Tony Alfaro
• Malte Amundsen
• Luis Barraza
• Maxime Chanot
• Braian Crufré
• Matt Freese
• Chris Gloster
• Tayvon Gray
• Justin Haak
• Mitja Ilenič
• Alfredo Morales
• Kevin O’Toole
• Samuel “Kwaku” Owusu
• Keaton Parks
• Matías Pellegrini
• Gabriel Pereira
• Talles Magno
• Thiago
• Thiago Martins