NYCFC on loan: Checking in on Alexandru Mitriță

Alexandru Mitriță of NYCFC
Alexandru Mitriță of NYCFC / DANIEL MIHAILESCU/GettyImages

New York City FC is not a stranger to sending players out on loan.  Sometimes, players are loaned out in order for them to take the next step in their career.  Other times it because they are not getting the playing time they wished for.  And, there are times a player wants to leave, but there is no opportunity for a sale to go through. 

Then, there is Alexandru Mitriță.  The Romanian originally came to NYCFC, and was expected to be a big player for the club.  The Designated Player did have some good moments, but mostly any good is overshowed by his sudden departure in the middle to the 2020 season.  It was known he was somewhat discontent with the team and its course, but no one thought he would leave with eight games to go. 

In fact, he scored twice in a match against Inter Miami CF to help NYCFC win.  Nevertheless, five days later, on October 8, the club announced Mitriță was being loaned out to Al-Ahli Saudi FC.  The move was shocking, especially since the Romanian used the excuse of wanting to be closer to his family due to the travel restrictions with COVID.  Yet, the writing was clear, for if he wanted to be closer to his family, then likely he would have moved to a club in or near Romania. 

Plus, the season was almost over.  Mitriță could have easily waited until then, and requested the move once the Pigeons lost in the playoffs.  As such, it is unquestionable he wanted the move immediately, for he was not happy at NYCFC. 

A look at Alexandru Mitriță’s loan journey for NYCFC

But where is the New York City FC Designated Player now?  Well, he is still out on loan, and has gone on quite the journey over the last few years.  As known, he started out with Al-Ahli, but also made his way to Greece to play with PAOK FC for the 2021-2022 season after terminating his loan with the Saudi club in August of 2021.  Afterwards, he made his way back to Saudi Arabia, where he is now on loan with Al-Raed FC until June of 2023.

So, how is Mitriță doing this season?  Well, he has 26 appearance out of a possible 28 in the Saudi Pro League so far, and there are two more matches to go. He was in the Starting XI 89% of the time, so he is highly regarded by his current club.  Additionally, he has scored six goals, and has one assist this season.  As of today, Al-Raed sits in 9th place.

For the most part, the Romanian is utilized as a left-winger or attacking midfielder, which is similar to his time with NYCFC.  However, he has played all over the midfield, and even has a few games under his belt as the center-forward.  His versatility likely makes it difficult to keep him on the bench.  As a result, he has played over 2,100 minutes this season. 

While in Greece, he made just 38 total appearances for PAOK, and scored only three goals.  Unfortunately, injury kept him out at times during the season, so it is good to see that he has had a healthy year.

Still, Mitriță has not produced at the same level that he did with NYCFC.  The winger had 18 goals and seven assists in 49 games for the club, and that is in all competitions.  His 2019 season was extremely memorable, for he had 13 of those goals, and many thought the Pigeons had a star.

Sadly, things did not work out, and the player remains on the books with the Bronx side.  He has spent more time away on loan compared to his time with NYCFC, and it is disappointing a permanent move was never found.  In all honesty, it was probably a hardship to find such a move based on his contract.  That does not shake away the fact he continues to be out on loan, and in a sense, a part of the club.

NYCFC is finally returning home and should be able to compete. dark. Next

When all is said and done, Mitriță’s time in Major League Soccer was mostly successful, despite being short.  His situation is not ideal, but at least he is having a decent season with his current team.  Although, fans can only wonder where they would be if Mitriță did not ask to leave, and instead stayed with New York City FC throughout this time.