Jesus Medina is risen: NYCFC winger capitalizes on chance in 3-0 win over Seattle Sounders
Disappointing, frustrating. You name the adjective and it’s been that kind of season for Jesus Medina.
Arriving at New York City FC before the 2018 season as a young designated player from Club Libertad, the young Paraguayan hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations and has seen his minutes drop significantly in 2019.
From six goals and seven assists in 28 appearances, 21 starts, in 2,005 minutes a year ago, Medina has started three of his nine appearances this season, playing a total of 346 minutes over the course of the first five months of the season.
He’s fallen on the depth chart, from starter, to substitute to seldom used. But Wednesday night, NYCFC coach Dome Torrent brought Medina on for his first MLS minutes in two months. And the 22-year-old made the most of his rare minutes with a goal and an assist in a 35-minute shift to help lead NYCFC to a 3-0 win over the Seattle Sounders at Yankee Stadium.
“’I’ve been waiting and to play again and it was a good time,” Medina said through a translator. “I needed to take advantage and the moment came. Now it’s time to relax because we have an important game on Sunday.”
Three minutes after coming on for Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Medina helped set up the game’s first goal. He returned a pass from Maxi Moralez, who played back to Medina. That pass was just in front of Medina, who briefly battled Xavier Arreaga for the ball before it squirted to Moralez, who put a deflected shot off a sliding Jordy Delem past Stefan Frei.
In the 77th minute, Medina scored the insurance goal — his first since August 4 — when he charged to the net and tapped in a low shot by Taty Castellanos.
“It was such an amazing feeling,” Medina said.
It was the third time Medina picked up a goal and an assist in a game. He did so on his memorable MLS debut in a 2-0 win at Sporting Kansas City to open the 2018 season and again in a 3-0 victory over the Montreal Impact last July 11.
After joking it was his fault that Medina hasn’t scored more goals because he hasn’t selected him to play enough, NYCFC coach Dome Torrent reiterated the importance of the entire roster contributing.
“It’s good news because the team needs Jesus Medina,” Torrent said. “And it’s good because I know how important it is for these kind of players, especially wingers, strikers to score because they play forward. Everything is better when we win. Everybody is ready.”