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New York City FC signs MLS veteran Rodney Wallace

02:58 WAT 16/02/2017
Rodney Wallace Portland Timbers MLS Cup Final
The left-sided player joins as a free agent after the MLS club acquired his rights in a trade from Portland.

New York City FC has signed MLS veteran Rodney Wallace, the club announced Wednesday.

Wallace was a free agent after spending the last year and a half abroad. After leaving the Portland Timbers as a free agent following the 2015 season, Wallace played two games with Portuguese top division side Arouca and 25 games with Sport Recife of Brazil’s Serie A.

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The Timbers retained Wallace’s rights, so NYCFC had to acquire those rights in a trade in order to complete the signing. NYCFC sent $75K in general allocation money and $50K in targeted allocation money to Portland in the trade.

“It’s a great honor to be an NYCFC player – it’s a dream come true to get this done and be here with such a great organization and a good team,” Wallace said in a press release. “I’ve watched a lot of the NYCFC games since the team came to the league and I was attracted to the style of play.

“I want to win trophies with this club, I want to come here and add to a bigger piece. We all want to achieve big things together and I’m just really happy to be here and to work towards that.”

Prior to his time abroad, the Costa Rica international had spent seven seasons in MLS. After two campaigns with D.C. United, Wallace spent five years with the Timbers and capped off his time there with an MLS Cup win in 2015, scoring the game-winning goal in the final.

A left-sided player, NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira specifically highlighted Wallace’s versatility as a reason for excitement over the move.

“Rodney is a quality player who can play as a winger, as a left-back or as a left midfielder,” Vieira said. “He’s really good with the ball and he knows how to win the championship as he did it with Portland.

“He will bring his experience to this squad which is great for us – I’m really looking forward to him coming because I believe that he’s one of the top players in this league.”

Wallace has bagged 19 goals and added 22 assists in his MLS career. He has also earned 17 caps for Costa Rica, with his last appearance coming in the Tico’s 4-0 thrashing of the United States in World Cup qualifying in November.