MEDINA SIGNS FOR NYCFC
We reported on December 29th that he was on his way and so it comes to fruition. Jesus Medina has now officially completed his transfer from Club Libertad to New York City FC. The 20-year-old Paraguayan international has signed a four-year deal. The left-footed attacking midfielder will occupy the lone remaining Designated Player spot in the NYCFC squad, vacated by the retirement of Andrea Pirlo.
“We believe that he’s a special talent,” NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira said in a club statement. “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 is a five-time Paraguayan champion with Libertad, where he debuted at the age of 15, and he helped them to the semi-finals of the 2017 Copa Sudamericana. He has 17 goals in 74 appearances with the club and has featured for his country’s Under-17 and Under-20 teams before breaking into the senior national team in July 2017 against Mexico.
“It’s a privilege to be here,” Medina told NYCFC.com. “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 … It’s also such a special feeling to have a World Cup winner with France as a head coach [Patrick Vieira]. 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 becomes the fourth signing of the off-season for NYCFC following the acquisitions of right backs Saad Abdul-Salaam and Anton Tinnerholm, as well as goalkeeper Brad Stuver.
FREDDY ADU BACK IN THE GAME
Cutting out all the guff about the ‘Freddy Adu World Tour’ nonsense, the former United States international is set to sign with Oskarshamns AIK in Sweden, a third division club. The former MLS prospect was last seen in the States playing for the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the North American Soccer League after being signed by former youth coach Thomas Rongen, then Stuart Campbell (who preferred to start former England international Joe Cole) before a trial to Portland Timbers did not lead to a contract.
Rundown doesn’t normally mind blowing its way through the bull to get to the story but there’s one line in the mlsmutiplex.com article that really deserves to be highlighted as poor practice; “His name has become synonymous with failure”. How about give the guy a chance, yeah?
This move appears to be motivated by Adu’s desire to play football but not be exploited as a marketing ploy, which is something as football fans we can all get behind. Good luck Fred. The fact that he is the same age as Jozy Altidore gives Rundown hope.
VARGAS DEAL NEARS COMPLETION
As reported in Rundown on December 27th, Montreal Impact will acquire 20-year-old Chilean winger Jeisson Vargas according to Chilean journalist Bruno Sampieri. It’s only taken him a week to catch on what he could have known from this very column last week. Greasing the wheel of industry is the fact that Impact owner Joey Saputo is owner and majority shareholder of Bologna.
He spent the last six months on loan from Bologna to Chilean club Universidad Catolica, where he scored one goal in 11 league appearances. The club were reportedly looking to extend Vargas’ loan, but Bologna will instead send him to Montreal for the 2018 season. Prior to signing with Bologna in July 2016, Vargas scored nine goals in 24 appearances and helped Universidad Catolica to a Chilean Primera title.
RUNDOWN’S FAVOURITE TYPE OF STORY
If there’s one common theme in the stories that Rundown adores the most, it’s the ones where a player in Europe is connected with ‘MLS’ in general without a club named and the words “might be among the options”.
Today the player in question us former Tottenham and Sampdoria full back Reto Ziegler. The 31-year-old is coming off a short-term deal with Switzerland’s FC Luzern, his seventh European club in the last 10 years and according to the Luzerner Zeitung he will not be returning. Among his potential next moves as outlined by the publication are a return to FC Sion, a club he once captained, and Major League Soccer, though no of course no specific clubs are mentioned.
There are several Swiss players currently plying their trade in MLS, all defenders except for Swiss international Blerim Dzemaili, who is an attacking star for the Montreal Impact. Centre back Philippe Senderos helped the Houston Dynamo reach the Western Conference Championship, Scott Sutter regularly features at right back for Orlando City, as does compatriot Jerome Thiesson across at Minnesota United and San Jose central defender Francois Affolter is the most recent arrival.
Any Other Business…
Out-of-contract Malmo FF midfielder Oscar Lewicki may soon be headed stateside, according to a report from Sweden’s Aftonbladet, as you’d expect no club is mentioned directly… Iker Casillas is mulling over a move to the Chicago Fire, with Lisbon-based newspaper Record claiming that the Spanish goalkeeper has asked his countryman and former national team colleague David Villa about life in MLS. As if they would know… Columbus Crew SC have submitted a transfer bid for Uruguayan striker Santiago “Morro” Garcia, according to Argentine journalist Gabriel Ciccarelli, he claims they have offered Argentine club Godoy Cruz $2 million for 50 percent of Garcia’s rights.