When Birk Risa signed with New York City FC last summer, there was a feeling that there was finally depth at the center-back position. If Maxime Chanot or Thiago Martins got hurt, then Risa was there to fill in the gaps.
Instead, everyone knows that did not last long, for Chanot departed the club. As such, players like Tayvon Gray, Justin Haak, and James Sands sometimes had to step in when one of the center-backs could not play throughout 2023. That is why it was crucial to sign another in 2024.
Strahinja Tanasijević adds depth to the backline
Finally, after all this time, NYCFC has a new center-back. The club announced the signing of Strahinja Tanasijević from FK Spartak Subotica. The Serbian joins the Pigeons on a contract through 2025, with options for the following two years. He spent a short period with his former club, for he only moved there in July. However, he earned 17 appearances during the first half of the season.
Meanwhile, Tanasijević joins the trend of NYCFC signing versatile players. The center-back can also play as a right-back. If Gray or Mitja Ilenič cannot start, then the Serbian can slot right in the position.
At the moment, it is expected Martins and Risa will be the starting center-backs. When Nick Cushing resorts to five or three in the back, then Tanasijević probably will be the third center-back. It will be interesting to see how many minutes he earns, especially since he was used to playing often in Serbia.
Tanasijević is exactly what NYCFC needed. Although, he will probably not be the only Serbian to sign with the club. Jovan Mijatović is rumored to join the team in the coming days.