He was an enigmatic figure at New York City FC – eclipsed perhaps only by Adam Nemec — and Friday, forward Jo Inge Berget mutually agreed to terminate his NYCFC contract for 2019. The former Malmö FF standout was compensated a total of $816,000 in 2018 – his only season with the club.
Terms of the departure were not disclosed.
Berget’s looks, frame and lack of graceful movement was a stark reminder of the Slovakian Nemec – a striker who scored nary a goal in his one season with City – the club’s 2015 campaign. While Berget managed four goals and three assists in 23 appearances, he was often maligned for his lack of productivity in critical moments although two of his four finishes came in head coach Dome Torrent’s debut with the club – a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on June 24.
Berget had scored just once in his previous 12 appearances and would tally just one time in 10 additional matches following his brace at Yankee Stadium.
The Norwegian international arrived shortly after the start of preseason and immediately sustained lower extremity injuries which curtailed the beginning of his brief career in the Bronx. He had spent the previous three seasons at Malmö with a team-leading 10 goals in his final season to help Di blâe to the Allsvenskan championship along with New York City fullback, Anton Tinnerholm.
Berget was acquired by NYCFC on a free transfer.
According to a Jan. 8 report in Swedish publication Sport, Berget first approached the club about releasing him from the contract. The report suggested Berget’s desire to leave was for reasons outside of soccer.
The announced departure of Berget was followed by reaction on social media – even a New York Red Bulls supporter left a terse message.
More bad news this window for #rbny
Jo Inge Berget terminated
— Whris (@chrisdelmetro) January 26, 2019
Berget has 20 caps and two goals for Norway while scoring 17 times in 63 appearances for Molde – a possible destination for the 6-1 forward. He also had stints with Cardiff City and Celtic FC where he scored two goals in four matches for The Hoops before a loan deal with Cardiff had expired.
With David Villa’s move to Japan and the cessation of the Berget era, NYCFC is without any strikers on its current preseason roster.