New York City Football Club (NYCFC) announced on Tuesday morning that it has signed Algerian forward Mounsef Bakrar from Croatian side NK Istra on a contract that will run through 2026 with an option for the 2027 season.
“I am thrilled to be joining New York City,” Bakrar said. “It’s a Club that plays exciting attacking football that suits my style of play. I look forward to playing in this great city and hope to contribute on the field and help this team fight for trophies.”
The deal is a part of Major League Soccer’s U22 initiative, which allows MLS clubs to sign up to three young players 22 years old and younger, to lucrative contracts at a reduced budget charge, decreasing the risk associated with acquiring or retaining players who are still approaching their prime.
The 22-year-old Bakrar scored eight goals and three assists across 33 appearances with NK Istra in the Croatian First League. Before his move to Croatia, he appeared in CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup action with Algerian side ES Sétif.
It has earned him six appearances with the Algerian U23 national side where he recorded one goal.
“We are delighted to welcome Mounsef to New York,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said. “Mounsef is a talented and dynamic forward who enjoyed a fantastic first season in Europe and we are excited for the impact he will have on our roster, while also adding quality and depth as we enter the latter stages of the season and toward the playoffs.”
NYCFC could use an influx of playmaking talent up front as it’s been stuck toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, currently ranking 13th with just 24 goals scored in 23 matches played. While they’ve gone unbeaten over their last eight MLS matches, only one has been a win with seven goals scored across that span.