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NYCFC sign 14-year-old Carrizo as Homegrown midfielder becomes youngest first-team signing in MLS history

9:31 am AEDT 1/3/22
Carrizo MLS NYCFC 2022
The teenager breaks the record previously held by Axel Kei

New York City FC announced on Monday that the club has signed 14-year-old midfielder Maximo Carrizo to a Homegrown contract, making him the youngest first-team signing in MLS history.

Carrizo, who signed a deal through 2027 with an option to extend in 2028, turned 14 on Monday, which sees him beat out the previous record of forward Axel Kei of Real Salt Lake, who signed his first contract at 14 years and 15 days in January after making his debut for RSL's reserved at age 13.

The teenager joined NYCFC's academy in 2018, joined the first team for preseason this winter and has represented the U.S. up to the U-15 level.

What was said?

“It’s an honor for me and my family to make MLS history by becoming the League’s youngest player to sign a First Team contract," Carrizo said. "This is an incredible Club with amazing people, I’d like to thank everyone at NYCFC for believing in me and helping me take the next step in my career. 

"I know I’m young and I have a lot to improve, but I am ready for the challenge and will work hard every day to show everyone what I am capable of.

“I already feel part of this Club and I really believe that NYCFC is the perfect place for me to continue my development and grow on-and-off the pitch. It’s inspiring to see how NYCFC produces talent and how Homegrown players get the opportunity to play in the First Team.

"I know this will take some time, but I am willing to be patient and learn from the amazing group of players and coaches that we have at this Club.”

Added sporting director David Lee: “We’re extremely happy to sign Maximo to his first professional contract, this is a historic moment for both the Club and MLS. He’s a special and extremely talented player and it’s been exciting to watch him develop over recent years in our Academy.

"Maximo is now at the very start of his journey as a professional and the next stages of his development over the coming years will be ensuring he maximizes his potential through working with our coaches and all the support staff in the Academy, NYCFC II and the First Team."

What's next for Carrizo?

Carrizo is eligible to play for NYCFC II, which will compete in the newly-formed MLS NEXT Pro league this season.

He may be joined by 14-year-old defender Christian McFarlane, who signed with NYCFC last season, giving the club two of the 10 youngest signings in league history.

“After Christian McFarlane, Maximo is the second 14-year-old we’ve signed to the First Team in a matter of months which shows how much talent we have in that age group and throughout the Academy," Lee said. "There are so many talented midfielders at our Club that he can watch and learn from, and the addition of MLS Next Pro will also help Maximo and all our Academy talents become better prepared for First Team football."

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