New York City FC fortified their back line on Tuesday when the club announced the signing of Icelandic international, Gudmundur “Gudi” Thórarinsson.
While adding depth at left back, City also found an understudy for performances of the national anthem at home matches. Thórarinsson was a semi-finalist at Söngvakeppnin 2018 – the Icelandic equivalent to the American television show, The Voice.
“Gudmundur is a talented player and is a smart footballer on the pitch,” NYCFC coach Ronny Deila said in a club statement. “He’s versatile and his technique on the ball is very good, which is a tremendous fit for our system.”
The 27-year old Thórarinsson has also played in the midfield in a professional career that began at his hometown club, Selfoss in 2008. He arrives in New York after a three-season stint at IFK Norrköping in Sweden’s Allsvenskan with four goals and 15 assists in 84 appearances.
Thórarinsson has also featured for clubs in Denmark, Norway and Iceland over his professional career. In 2016, he helped Rosenborg BK with a Norwegian Cup.
“I’ve seen the way Ronny works and likes to play football, so that was a really big part of my decision,” Thórarinsson said. “He likes to play possession football which I love as well. I’m a creative person, so I like when I can play in different positions.”
The 12-year professional with a natural left foot is a good passer of the ball and when given the space, will bang attempts from distance.
Thórarinsson has five caps with the Iceland national team and competed in Europa League qualifying matches for Norrköping, registering an assist in a 2-1 victory against St. Patricks.
“He has a lot of experience across different leagues in Scandinavia, but also in European competition and at the international level with Iceland,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said. “We continue to build a deep squad and signing Gudmundur adds more depth at multiple positions which will be very beneficial for us as we enter the Concacaf Champions League next month.”
Thórarinsson will join the club pending the receipt of a P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Thórarinsson will occupy an international roster slot. New York City meets San Carlos in their opening CCL match on Feb. 20 in Costa Rica.
“It’s hard for me to pick a favorite [position] I simply enjoy playing football,” Thórarinsson said. “I’m happy and I’ll give my all no matter which position I’m asked to play. The Icelandic DNA is to always give your best to the team.”
“I’ve heard nothing but great things about him as an individual and I’m really excited to welcome him into our team ahead of the season,” Deila said of Thórarinsson.
And if part of that reception is to sing to the team at his initiation, Thórarinsson will be ready.