New York City Football Club Announces Players Signed to NYCFC II Contracts for the Newly Formed MLS NEXT Pro 


New York, N.Y., March 24, 2022 – New York City Football Club (NYCFC) today announced the roster of NYCFC II in the newly formed MLS NEXT Pro. NYCFC II is set to play its inaugural match this Sunday, March 27 at 5pm ET against New England Revolution II at Belson Stadium on the campus of St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y.

All players signed to NYCFC II are local to the Tri-State area. The roster includes two forwards, five midfielders, one defender and two goalkeepers. In addition, all players that are signed to First Team contracts are eligible to play for NYCFC II.

NYCFC Sporting Director, David Lee, said: “We are thrilled that NYCFC II is finally here. It’s a great opportunity for us to continue to progress young talent and provide a pathway for local youth to achieve their dreams of playing professional soccer. No player pathway is linear, and NYCFC II is an excellent platform for the Club to keep identifying and developing talent.

“NYCFC II will allow us to have some fluidity within our roster. While we can include First Team players who are still in their development stage or looking to gain additional playing minutes, we’ll also have players from our academy who are ready to test themself at a very competitive level.

Playing our inaugural game is a very exciting moment for us and there has been a huge amount of hard work from our Academy staff to get us to this stage.”

NYCFC II will feature players such as Nicholas ‘Nico’ Benalcazar, Jonathan ‘JJ’ Jimenez and Samuel ‘Kwaku’ Owusu who are signed to First Team Homegrown contracts. A number of these NYCFC II players including El Mahdi Youssoufi and Jack Beer took part in this year’s First Team preseason. Alex Rando was part of the original NYCFC U-14 Academy team in 15’/’16 and won back-to-back USSDA National Championships, as well as the ‘18/’19 Golden Glove for best keeper in the USSDA Playoffs and Championship. Piero Elias also played for NYCFC’s U-14 Academy team during the ‘16/’17 season and most recently played for USL’s Queensboro FC.

NYCFC II is one of 21 clubs that will join MLS’ new professional league MLS NEXT Pro and will compete in the Eastern Conference alongside Chicago Fire II, FC Cincinnati 2, Inter Miami II, New England Revolution II, Orlando City B, Philadelphia Union II, TFC II, Columbus Crew 2 and Rochester New York FC.

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Alex Rando | Goalkeeper | Manhattan, NY

Giuliano Santucci | Goalkeeper | Yorktown Heights, NY

Stephen | Turnbull Defender | Holtsville, NY

Jack Beer | Midfielder | Thornwood, NY

Andrew Maia | Midfielder | Kearny, NJ

John Denis | Midfielder | Yorktown Heights, NY

Piero Elias | Midfielder | Queens, NY

Steven Bednarsky | Midfielder | Chester, NJ

El Mahdi Youssoufi* | Forward | Brooklyn, NY

Julian Gomez | Forward | Fairview, NJ

*Pending P1 Visa acquisition and ITC clearance