Alexandru Mitrita
Associated Press

NYCFC’s record-breaking signing Alexandru Mitrita came to The Bronx with more than just goals as the youngster is familiar with drawing cards.

Alexandru Mitrita seems like a signing from heaven for New York City FC.

Mitrita can play anywhere in midfield and up top, he can score, tallying 13 goals in 18 appearances in his last season in La Liga I with Universitatea Craiova, he’s only 23, he captained Craiova at that age, played in the Serie A, and he’s an international player with Romania. In fact, he’s the 2018 Romania Footballer of the Year.

Mitrita is not a bad signing from NYCFC. Wait, there’s just one little thing. The-23-year-old racked up more cards than assists in his career.

The Boys in Blue acquired Mitrita from Craiova for a club record and third-highest signing fee ever in the MLS of $9 million on Monday.

The rising star caught the attention of New York after scoring a league second-best 13 goals in 18 matches in the first half of the La Liga I season. But also in that season, the Romanian averaged a yellow card every other game.

Mitrita was red-carded once as well. It wasn’t for a hard tackle. The versatile midfielder was red-carded after getting two yellow cards for diving in a match versus Sepsi Sfântu Gheorghe on Nov. 9. He wasn’t happy.

Mitrita got in the referee’s face after seeing a second yellow card for diving in the 57th minute, which to be fair was a call that could’ve gone either way. He was suspended for a game for his action toward the referee.

The referee wasn’t the only one Mitrita aimed his frustration at. Sepsi keeper Bela Fejer appeared to have purposely thrown himself down to make Mitrita look guilty of hitting him. Furious, the Romanian prodigy ferociously attempted to confront Fejer but was carried away by his opponents.

According to Transfer Markt, overall in his career, Mitrita amassed 36 cards (32 yellows, two second yellows, and two reds) in 158 appearances, which is shockingly just two numbers fewer than the goals he scored, 38, and nine more than his assists, 27.

How could the 2018 Romanian Player of the Year’s disciplinary issue hurt NYCFC? If Mitrita carries his ratio of yellow cards during the first half of the Romanian’s top-flight season to the MLS, New York would be without their last Designated Player for three matches, which isn’t much.

And of course, at only 23 years of age, it’s not unheard of for a player to accumulate cards and this is a problem that can be fixed in the preseason.

However, odds are against Mitrita to learn how to control his emotions as so many players never did. David Beckham, for example, who was known to have a bad temper before joining L.A. Galaxy still registered 27 yellow cards and one red card in 97 outings with the club.

NYCFC was already the team with the fourth most cards last season and has the player who had the second most yellow cards, Alexander Ring. Be aware because The Pigeons might’ve gotten even feistier going into this upcoming season.

Originally from Haiti, Ralph 'Onz' Chery started his writing career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He also wrote for First Touch, the Cosmopolitan Soccer League and other local leagues. After graduating, Onz started covering the New York Red Bulls for ESNY and joined Haitian Times.