New York City FC today announced that the club has signed Ronald Matarrita to a contract extension using Targeted Allocation Money. The Costa Rican international will return for a third season with NYCFC after he joined from Alajuelense in January 2016.
Matarrita told NYCFC.com: “I am very happy to re-sign with New York City, it’s the team that has given me the strength to raise my level as a football player and as a professional. I am very happy with the decision I have taken.
“To represent NYCFC is a commitment, I believe it’s an honor to wear this jersey. I am doing my best to represent it the best way possible. I always try to give 100 percent on and off the pitch and believe that in my time with the Club I have been able to accomplish that.
“Now, I want to do the best job possible with New York City, the club that has given me everything. Also, to be called up to the national team for the World Cup and have an excellent tournament for my country.”
Matarrita endured an injury-hit Sophomore season with City after he suffered a metatarsal fracture. Despite missing the majority of the campaign, Ronald still contributed to NYCFC’s advancement to the MLS Playoffs with 14 appearances and two assists.
Head Coach Patrick Vieira said: “I am really delighted that Matarrita has signed his new contract with us. He’s still really young and he still has some parts of his game that he needs to work on to improve to get even better but I’m glad that he will have the chance to do that with us here in New York.
“It was a really tough season for him because of the injuries that he had but what I like about him is his work ethic and his determination to come back even stronger. What is good in our football club is that we will have two really good left-backs.
“This competition for places in every position is really important and that’s why I’m so happy that Ronald has signed this new contract.”
In 2016, the 23-year old defender was instrumental in guiding NYCFC to the post-season for the first time in history, playing 27 games and scoring his first goal vs. Seattle in June.
He was named Defensive Player of the Year following that first season and this year he was ranked 16th in Major League Soccer’s 24 Under 24 countdown.
Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said: “We’re very happy with Ronald’s decision to sign a contract extension – he’s one of the continent’s most exciting young defenders and a hard-working, popular member of our squad.
“Ronald endured a difficult year with injuries but, at the age of 23, we believe he has his best years ahead of him as a player and I’m looking forward to seeing the next year of his development with NYCFC.
“He has a big year coming up with the World Cup in Russia and it’s great for us as a football club to have players in with a chance of representing their nations on the biggest stage.”
A regular member of his national team, Matarrita is expected to represent his country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia next summer where Costa Rica have drawn Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia in their group.