HERIMMAN, UTAH (Friday, December 18, 2020) – Real Monarchs have signed New Zealand forward Max Mata from Grasshoppers Club Zurich in Switzerland through the 2021 season. Mata’s signing is pending league and federation approval, as well as the approval of a p-1 visa. The terms of the signing have not been disclosed.
Mata, 20, is the first-ever signing from New Zealand for the Monarchs. The young forward arrives in the States from Switzerland where he spent time with the second tier of Grasshopper, scoring five goals in 10 appearances. During the 2019 season he played on loan with Nõmme Kalju FC in Estonia, racking up 11 goals and six assists in just 20 matches.
“Max is a dynamic young attacking player, capable of scoring with both feet and in the air. He joins the Monarchs not only as an accomplished and competent professional but also at a time in his career with tremendous capacity for future development. We are excited to see his progression under the tutelage of our Club staff,” Assistant General Manager Tony Beltran said.
Before making the jump to European football, Mata played on his home continent, initially beginning his career in the Australian leagues with Wellington Phoenix Reserves before returning to New Zealand’s top flight to play with Eastern Suburbs AFC. While with Wellington he became the youngest player in ASB Premiership to score in a competitive match at 15 years, 4 months, and 23 days old.
Mata has spent most of his career competing with the New Zealand Youth National Teams and just last year made his debut with the senior team on November 17, 2019 against Lithuania. At the U-20 level, Mata competed in both the U-20 OFC Championship and the 2019 U-20 FIFA World Cup in Poland. Between the two competitions he tallied five goals in six matches and was awarded the Golden Boot for his offensive production in the OFC Championship. In 2017, Mata played with New Zealand’s U-17 side where he captained the team to victory in the U-17 OFC Championship and an appearance in the U-17 FIFA World Cup.
Name: Max Mata
Real Monarchs current roster as of 12/18/20
Goalkeepers: Jimmy Slayton
Defenders: James Moberg, Kevin Saucedo
Midfielders: Sam Brown, Josimar Quintero
Forwards: Max Mata