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.
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.
CONSTANTA, Romania (AP) Gheorghe Hagi’s soccer club in Romania says it has terminated a player’s contract for gambling on games.
Viitorul Constanta, which is owned and coached by the former Romania great, had previously said it suspended Mihai Vodut while verifying media reports of his betting.
[ MORE: Latest on Emiliano Sala ]
A Romanian news website published claims by a former girlfriend of the 24-year-old forward that she placed bets on his team’s games at his request.
Viitorul says the player’s contract specified that betting was forbidden.
The club, which is fifth in the 14-team top division, was created by Hagi 10 years ago after a storied playing career that included being signed by Real Madrid and Barcelona.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) The leaders of four Balkan countries say they will make a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup.
[ MORE: Barcelona taking “cautious” approach with Lionel Messi’s broken arm ]
The prime ministers of Bulgaria, Greece and Romania and the president of Serbia say their countries will make an official bid to host the soccer event in stadiums across the four countries.
The idea was announced on the sidelines of a regional meeting in the Black Sea resort of Varna.
[ VIDEO: Neymar, Kylian Mbappe toy with Lille; PSG go 11 points clear ]
Although the 2030 contest is not officially open, South American soccer leaders are already promoting a three-way centenary bid by Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, which was the original World Cup host in 1930.
Also, English soccer officials have launched a feasibility study into bidding in partnership with Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Dusan Tadic‘s awful penalty was the only real highlight of an otherwise drab 0-0 draw between Serbia and Romania at Arena Nationala in Bucuresti.
Serbia was awarded the spot-kick after Gabriel Tamas was sent off for a high boot in the box right to the face of Mijat Gacinovic. Tadic stepped up to take the penalty and after a slow, awkward run-up, he blasted his penalty well over the top-left corner, not even close to hitting the target.
Many after the match criticized Serbia for not having in-form Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic take the penalty instead of Tadic. Mitrovic scored a penalty just three days ago in a 2-0 win over Montenegro. There were just six total shots on target throughout the entire match split three and three between the two teams. Serbia dominated the majority of play, holding 70% of possession and winning the corner count 11-3.
Elsewhere, Denis Cheryshev continued his hot streak for Russia as they stole a 2-0 win over Turkey in Sochi. Cheryshev has scored six goals in his last nine international appearances dating back to the World Cup. Cheryshev didn’t start the match, but came on with 19 minutes to go and Russia already a goal up on a Roman Neustädter 20th minute strike.
Turkey, featuring a lineup that included Everton striker Cenk Tosun and Roma youngster Cengiz Ünder, held 60% possession and out-passed a Russia team that only completed 67% of its passes. Still, they struggled up front as 30-year-old Fenerbahce CB Neustadter partnered well alongside Georgi Dzhikiya. Neither defender was part of the Russian World Cup squad this past summer.
Also in Nations League play, Faroe Islands drew 1-1 with Kosovo, while Malta and Azerbaijan also finished level at 1-1 in Baku.