Mounsef Bakrar | "My Teammates And The Coaches Are Helping Me Adapt." 

1920x1080 003bakrar

Mounsef Bakrar has hailed the impact of everyone at the Club in helping him to adapt to life in MLS. 

The forward joined NYCFC in July from the Croatian side Istra 1961. He scored his first goal for the Boys in Blue during the 5-0 victory against Toronto FC in the Leagues Cup and has followed that up with two goals in MLS against CF Montréal and Vancouver Whitecaps. 

Bakrar is still somewhat new to life in MLS and America, but the 22-year-old was keen to praise the role both his teammates and the coaches at the Club have played in helping to adjust. 

"I'm adapting really quickly with the team," he explained.

"I really appreciate my teammates and also the staff that have helped me a lot with the adaptation. The league for me is a little bit different when I compare it to the Croatian League. It's very competitive and the teams are physical and direct. 

"I think these are the two points where I see a big difference. We have good players, technical players, and also we have strong players. We're trying to do our best every game and we are pushing like every week.

"We have now our next game against Orlando and we are looking for the three points." 

As part of that bedding-in period, Bakrar has struck up an interesting on-field connection with Birk Risa. The Norwegian defender is himself a new arrival at the Club after joining from Norwegian outfit Molde FK. 

A talented and technical defender, Risa's ability to play out of the back has not been lost on Bakrar, who hailed Risa's quality and ability to find him with long-range passes. The two linked up brilliantly against Montréal recently for Bakrar to score his first MLS goal, and they will hope to do it once again when the team faces Orlando City on Wednesday. 

"I think he can play very precise and really good long balls," Bakrar said of Risa.

"He is trying to find me in space and I like this. It's helped me a lot when we don't have another solution. Usually, we try to play it out from the back with the ball and sometimes we try to play like long balls from Birk or Thiago. They are trying to find me every time in space. 

The forward also revealed the group is determined to make the playoffs as they face two big games this week. 

First up is a visit from Orlando City SC on Wednesday before Canadian outfit Toronto FC ventures south at the weekend. Back-to-back wins would be a huge boost for the team, and Bakrar is focused on helping deliver that. 

"We have a big challenge we can see that," he said.

"Of course, in the last game we didn't win but we feel like little bit disappointed because we thought we could take this game but now we are more focused on the next games that we have and trying to get playoffs."

Sign-up for MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app - and never miss a moment of the 2023 season. Stream every regular-season, playoff, and Leagues Cup match. Every Screen. No Blackouts.

For the City - Stories

Join us on our mission to empower NYC youth through soccer.