Jesus Medina can play the No. 10 role or on the wing. (Photo courtesy of NYCFC)
By Michael Lewis
Depending on your vantage point or time zone, Jesus Medina is either one of the last signings of 2017 or the very first player to ink a contract for the new year.
The 20-year-old Paraguayan international midfielder signed a contract with New York City FC to become the team’s first Young Designated Player at 5 a.m. ET Sunday, the Major League Soccer club announced. At that time, the day changed to Jan. 1, 2018 in Samoa and Christmas Island/Kiribati at the international dateline in the Pacific Ocean, the club said.
Medina, who transfered from Club Libertad (Paraguay) signed a four-year contract with NYCFC. His signing is subject to him receiving a P1 visa and City acquiring his International Transfer Certificate.
An attacking midfielder, Medina can play in the creative role or on the wing.
“We are really delighted that we have managed to bring Jesus to the football club because we believe that he’s a special talent,” NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira said in a statement. “We don’t look at the age when we identify the players we want to bring to this football club, we just look at talent.
“Obviously any young player will need time to adapt and there will be some parts of his game that he will need to develop but I believe that we have the structure in place at NYCFC to help him do that – we will make him feel like he is at home.
“Jesus has got talent, he’s got pace, he’s a really good dribbler, and he’s somebody who can assist and score goals as well. For a player of such a young age, he has a really strong character and I think he will be a great addition.”
Medina made his debut for the Asuncion-based side at 15. Since then he has played 74 matches, scoring 17 goals and performing 14 times in South American continental competition. He helped Libertad reach the 2017 Copa Sudamericana semifinals.
“It’s a unique feeling, I’ve always wanted to play at a grand club like New York City FC who are doing great things and it’s a privilege to be here,” Medina said in a statement.
“My first thought when I heard of the interest was that it was a great club, an important club in the United States – it’s a great feeling. Claudio Reyna [sporting director] talked to me and said wonderful things about the club and the league. I then made the decision to go over there to keep growing as a player and as a person.
“It’s also such a special feeling to have a World Cup winner with France as a head coach. I think training with such an experienced professional, at my young age, will help me as a player and will hopefully be a great experience for me. He will teach me a lot.”
Medina made his international debut against Mexico in July.