New York City FC has signed Ecuadorian defender Andrés Mendoza, the club announced on Monday.
Mendoza, 25, has played professionally in Ecuador since 2007 and earned the nickname "Belleza," meaning "Beauty," for his playing style. He played last season for CD Maldonado in Uruguay.
NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis said he expects Mendoza to contribute immediately in the club's inaugural season.
“Andrés is an exciting prospect; he’s young, strong in the air and very athletic. He’s also a good passer which will be a great benefit to us as he can play the ball out of defense.
“He really ticks all the boxes that our coaching staff looks for in defenders. I’m confident he will reach his full potential playing in Major League Soccer and will make a positive impact on this league."
Mendoza said he is looking forward to the challenge of playing outside of South America for the first time in his career.
"I've never played outside of South America before so this is an exciting sporting and lifestyle change for me and I’m very much looking forward to it. I can't wait to start getting to know the culture, the people and most importantly the fans in New York.
“I’m going to do everything I can to earn positive results for this Club and I’m thrilled to begin this new chapter in my career.”
- Paul Palladino