What role will Maxi Moralez have this season?

  • Maxi Moralez has been injured due to an ACL injury
  • When he returns, what role will he have for NYCFC?
Maxi Moralez of NYCFC
Maxi Moralez of NYCFC / Andy Mead/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Maxi Moralez returned to New York City FC after a brief stint with Racing Club de Avellaneda in Argentina last year. However, a change of heart and issues with playing time led him to return to the Big Apple through the 2024 season. Unfortunately, he only played in a few matches because he tore his ACL in September.

Though recovering well, Moralez is still working on the grass with the ball but is still some time away from returning to the pitch. With the addition of Hannes Wolf, the attacking center midfield position is already locked in. Plus, Moralez is turning 37 years old. What do we expect him to take on once he returns? 

The possible roles for Maxi Moralez

In Moralez’s first match back, he started as the left attacking midfielder in a 4-3-2-1 formation against Minnesota United FC, with Santiago Rodríguez in the middle and Matías Pellegrini on the right. Since Wolf and Rodríguez switch as the central-attacking midfielder, Moralez could make the switch and play as the right-attacking midfielder for NYCFC.   

There is no definite player in that position yet, with Julián Fernández, Andres Jasson, or even Malachi Jones options for that position as well. Moralez could take on that role full-time if he can adjust to the change of position.   

If playing in the right does not work out, then Moralez could remain in the center of the midfield, depending on the formation. Nick Cushing experimented with different formations in 2023, switching it up from a 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, 3-4-3, and a 3-4-2-1.  

In the cases where Rodríguez cannot play, Moralez could slide into the attacking midfield position with Wolf in a 3-4-2-1 formation. Even a 3-4-3 formation could see Moralez in the middle of the field. Then there is the obvious if Wolf or Rodríguez cannot play, Moralez would be the first player for that role.  

The third option to consider is if Moralez cannot play a full 90-minute match for NYCFC like he used to when he comes back, then he will have to deal with coming off the bench. Moralez is one of the oldest players and one of the longest members. Therefore he could be used as a “player’s coach” for his younger teammates.  

With his six full years of MLS experience plus 18 years of professional football under his belt, his wisdom would be more than useful for the team, especially during this rebuilding phase.