Pescara

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NYCFC’s Mitrita scores marvelous goal against USL’s Nashville (video)

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New York City FC attacker Alexandru Mitrita is yet to meet an MLS defense, but so far his skills honed in Romania and Italy are translating nicely.

Mitrita, 24, has scored in a pair of preseason friendlies, the latest a beauty against USL side Nashville SC, as he begins life after Romania’s Liga 1.

[ VIDEO: Pochettino goes wild at referees ]

He tortured that league, having been serviceable in a stint with Serie A and B side Pescara.

If his work so far this preseason is any sign, that should continue in Major League Soccer (if he’s not murdered by fouls).

Able to play across the pitch, Mitrita’s latest goal showed that NYCFC is going to have a wealth of attacking options with Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Jonathan Lewis, Jesus Medina, Maxi Moralrez, and Mitrita.

New York City FC signs Mitrita as Designated Player (video)

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It’s time to familiarize yourself with Alexandru Mitrita, the 23-year-old Romanian attacker set to help fill the void left by David Villa.

New York City FC announced the reported $9 million purchase of Mitrita from Romanian Liga I club Universitatea Craiova.

[ MORE: Almiron agent unhappy with MLS ]

He has 12 goals and four assists in 16 matches while captaining the Craiovan club this season. Prior to that, he spent two seasons at Pescara in Serie A and Serie B, scoring two goals with six assists.

Mitrita is capped five times by Romania with a single assist. Here’s NYCFC sporting director and USMNT legend Claudio Reyna, via NYCFC.com:

“He comes to New York during a stage in his career where he’s extremely motivated to make the next step after recently breaking into the Romanian national team. He possesses an innate desire to win and is focused on becoming an important player for our Club as we challenge for the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup.

“He was an important player at his previous club and very well-liked by an amazing and loyal fan base. Our fans will immediately notice the personality he carries on the field and they’ll really enjoy watching him play for NYCFC.”

He’s built like Sebastian Giovinco. If he can produce anywhere near the Italian’s level, the signing will be a win for NYCFC.

Muntari to abuse victims: “You’re strong. Say what you want to say”

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Sulley Muntari walked off the field during Pescara’s Serie A match at Cagliari on May 1 after being racially abused by fans.

Muntari had told the officials about the abuse, and the referees did not react to his pleas. Eventually, he was shown a yellow card and he walked off the field. That gave him a second yellow.

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His one-match ban for being sent off was rescinded by the Italian federation, and Muntari spoke to the BBC on Monday.

“The last week, I went through hell, was treated just like a criminal. My message to many abused, racially abused, any form of abuse, is you should not be scared to talk, you should speak up in order to set yourself free. You shouldn’t be scared of anybody because you’re strong so you should come out and say whatever you want to say. It’s you. No one will change. You have to make the change.”

Well and powerfully said.

The 32-year-old Ghanaian midfielder has also played for Portsmouth, Udinese, Inter Milan, Sunderland, AC Milan and Ittihad. He has 84 caps and 20 goals for Ghana.

Muntari’s ban rescinded by Italian federation

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Sulley Muntari won’t be suspended after walking off the pitch against Cagliari.

[ MORE: Messi’s four-game suspension lifted by FIFA ]

The Italian federation announced on Friday that the Pescara midfielder won’t have to serve his one-match ban for walking off the field in last week’s match.

The 32-year-old Ghanaian was shown two yellow cards against Cagliari, with the first coming after Muntari protested to the referee about receiving racial abuse from the stadium’s fans.

Muntari ultimately walked off the field as a statement against the alleged racist acts, earning him a second yellow card from the head official.

Pescara will host Crotone on Sunday.

Pescara’s Muntari walks off in protest at racist abuse

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CAGLIARI, Italy (AP) Pescara’s Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari walked off the pitch in protest during his side’s Serie A match at Cagliari on Sunday after being booked for complaining to the referee about racist abuse from fans.

“They were chanting against me from the start,” Muntari said. “In the first half, I saw that there were some children in the group and so I turned to their parents and gave them my shirt, to set an example.

“The issue continued with another group of fans. I was reasoning with them, but the referee told me I had to let it go. That’s when I got angry. Because instead of stopping the game, he decided to punish me.”

Muntari told referee Daniele Minelli and his assistants several times about the chants from home fans in the final minute of Pescara’s 1-0 defeat. The official then showed the former Ghana international midfielder a yellow card.

The 32-year-old Muntari was so angry with the booking that he walked off the pitch, leaving his side in 10 men for stoppage time.

“The fans were wrong, but the referee had to act differently, not accuse me of causing trouble,” the former Portsmouth midfielder said. “If the officials actually stopped games, I am convinced these things wouldn’t happen anymore.”