Tefu Mashamaite has been linked with New York City FC for quite a while now, the South African even had a 10-day trial with club, and the deal was close to done, but has now fallen through due to the MLS, not the club according to his agent Jazzman Mahlakgane.
Each MLS team is allocated a specific amount of international roster spots to promote the growth of domestic talent. Mashamaite would fill one of those international spots and the MLS did not allow NYCFC to exceed their allocated amount of international roster spots.
The failed transfer reportedly has nothing to do with NYCFC’s recent signing of center back Jefferson Mena.
A quote from Mahlakgane on the transfer.
“Up until last night it looked more like a done deal with NYCFC, but I am sad to announce that the club wasn’t granted a spot to bring Tefu on board and two other players they intended to sign.”
It seems like there would be a way for NYCFC to navigate this issue by transferring one of their international players. While there are a lot of options, Slovakian striker Adam Nemec comes to mind as he has underperformed. With the strong play of David Villa and Patrick Mullins as of late, along with the pending return of Khiry Shelton, Nemec is simply not needed.
Another option for the club, while unlikely would to use their allocation money to “trade” cash for an additional international roster spot from another MLS club. They bought an international spot from the LA Galaxy for Mena’s spot.
NYCFC have another center back training with them in American international Oguchi Onyewu who would not take up an international roster spot. He may be seen as an option after this transfer has been blocked.
With the addition of Mena, NYCFC is already one player over the maximum amount of roster spots on the team, so one player must be loaned out/transferred/released at the very least.