On Monday, New York City FC announced the club has signed Norwegian center-back, Birk Risa, from Molde FK. He is the second signing to the club this summer, for Mounsef Bakrar was announced just last week.
The new NYCFC player has signed a contract where he will stay at the club until at least 2025. There is also an option for 2026. Since he is a secondary transfer window signing, his salary is unknown. However, per Transfermarkt, the transfer fee was a little over $1.1 million.
The addition of the defender allows some peace regarding the center-back options for the Pigeons, and gives depth in the case of injury. David Lee expressed his value to NYCFC.com:
"We are thrilled to welcome Birk to New York City. Birk is a left-footed center back whose ability to play from the back will fit into our system and style of play. Birk is entering his prime and will bring quality and depth to the center back position as we turn our attention to the second half of the season and toward playoffs."- David Lee
Birk Risa is a great addition to NYCFC
Not only will Risa fit into New York City FC's style of play, but he is overall a talented player. Also, he know what it takes to be a winner, for Molde FK finished in first place in the Eliteserien back in 2022. Thus far in 2023, he has made 15 appearances in all competitions, and started the majority of those matches.
Defensively, Risa is a solid defender, and will fit right in with NYCFC regarding clearances. The Bronx team tends to do well and has a high number of clearances this season, and the newcomer has 2.49 clearances per 90 minutes. He also is not afraid to make tackles since he makes 2.38 per 90, which is extremely important for a center-back.
The experience of the 25-year-old is vital too, especially for the future. As the next few years go by, Maxime Chanot will only get older. While it is expected he will remain a part of the squad, it would not be shocking for the veteran to eventually scale back his playing time. Although, with how he is playing in 2023, he clearly continuously deserves his starting role.
Still, the bringing in of Risa will be great for the competition between all of the center-backs, especially the starters. As many know, increasing the competition in training by having talented players can lead to others improving their own play. It will be interesting to see whether the Norwegian can push someone out of the Starting XI, and also whether Nick Cushing will be more open to keeping the backline of three center-backs.
This is another great addition to the secondary transfer window, and necessary as well. The breathing room it gives the team in the defense is a plus, and it is expected Risa will be an impactful signing for not just the remainder of the season, but well into the future.
It is very exciting to see how the new defender will adjust to New York City FC. Moreover, it is interesting as to whether he can make a name for himself like Chanot and Alexander Callens, the two most popular and talented center-backs in the team’s history. Only time will tell though...