New York City FC signed defenders Andoni Iraola and Jose Angel Tasende, who will both be vital pieces to the club for the 2015 Major League Soccer Season.
Iraola comes to NYCFC from Athletic Bilbao on a free transfer and will be eligible for selection following the opening of the Major League Soccer secondary transfer window on July 8 pending receipt of his P1 Visa and a physical.
“I have only played for one club throughout my whole career and I knew after leaving Bilbao my first choice was always to play in the U.S. and in New York,” Iraola said. “It’s a very exciting opportunity for me to join New York City FC in our inaugural season. This is a team with huge potential, passionate supporters, and I really wanted to be part of it.
“For me it will be very nice playing with David Villa. We’ve crossed paths on the national team, we have played against each other many times but being able to play with him in the league and fight together is extra motivation for me.
“New York seems like the most suitable place for me to continue my career, it’s a great city and I’m already wishing I was there training with my new teammates.”
Iraola, 32, made 510 appearances (406 league) with 38 goals for Bilbao over the past 12 seasons. The Basque right back has been a constant in the team, appearing in 30 or more league matches in 11 seasons with a career-high 38 in 2005-06.
“I think it’s fantastic to be able to add a player with that much experience and quality at a critical time of the season,” New York City FC Head Coach Jason Kreis said. “We are adding a versatile player like Andoni who is comfortable playing in a number of different positions within the team. We are adding a great professional and a very experienced player.”
Iraola made his first-team debut for Bilbao as a 21-year-old against Barcelona in 2003 and went on to have a fantastic La Liga career while earning seven caps for Spain from 2008-11.
“We look forward to having Andoni at the club,” New York City FC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said. “His level of professionalism and humility is exactly what we want to have at New York City FC. His experience playing at the highest level will be a great influence to the younger members of the squad.
“He’s not going to wear the captain’s armband, but essentially we’re adding another captain to the team.”
Tasende, meanwhile will be on loan for the remainder of the 2015 Major League Soccer season.
Jose also known as Angelino, is a member of the Manchester City FC Elite Development Squad. He will be eligible for selection following the opening of the MLS transfer window on July 8, pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and his P1 Visa.
The 18-year-old Spanish youth international signed with Manchester City’s youth ranks as a first-year scholar in July 2013 and was a regular for the U-18s during the 2012-13 campaign. The left back made his EDS (U-21) debut prior to his 17th birthday and joins New York City FC after a very successful 2014-15 campaign.
“I’m very happy for the opportunity that Manchester City and New York City FC have given me. To be able to play in New York is a great opportunity for me and I am eager to get started. I can’t wait to get to New York and join my new teammates,” Angelino said. “I know Shay Facey is doing really well for the team and loving the experience. The atmosphere at Yankee Stadium seems amazing so I’m really looking forward to playing in front of our supporters.
“Being able to train and play in a professional league like MLS, and learn from Coach Kreis will help me develop further as a young player. I’m determined to make the most of my opportunity and give everything I can to help the team in our first season.”
“Angelino is a talented young player that I became very familiar with when I spent my five months over in Manchester,” Kreis said. “Immediately, he was somebody that I liked. I was impressed with his character, the way he trained and the effort he gave to the team on the pitch. I couldn’t be more pleased that we’ve been able to bring him into this squad.
“Angelino is very hungry to move forward in his career and has a fighting mentality that you want to see in a young professional. For a team that wants to play the way we do, he has all the attributes you’d want to see in an outside back. Defensively he’s very good in 1-v-1 battles but is also effective in getting forward and serving good balls into the box.”
Angelino, who chose Manchester City over Real Madrid and Barcelona, showcased his offensive prowess by scoring a hat trick for the EDS in a 4-2 win over Leicester City on April 7.
“Angelino’s development in the last 18 months in Manchester has been tremendous,” Reyna said. “He has excellent technical qualities on the ball and plays with a competitive spirit that will fit in nicely to the team.
“He is in the City Football Group family and we’ll do everything we can to make sure he settles in, develops as a player and has a great experience with New York City FC.”
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