New York City FC: 3 things to watch for in 2020 MLS playoffs

New York City FC (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
New York City FC (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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New York City FC
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2. Can Medina solidify his worth as a DP on New York City FC?

Jesús Medina is the most criticized player in the New York City FC locker room.  Before the season began, there were questions as to whether he was worth as a Young Designated Player, or even worth to keep with the team.

Fortunately for the Paraguayan, as the season went on, he slowly improved.  This is notably true over the last month, for Medina finally notched a few goals again and was a difference-maker on the wings.  At this rate, he is officially in a form where he deserves to start.

Admittedly, Medina is worth keeping as an NYCFC player.  But, he still has to do better.  He has to score more goals, he has to get more assists, and he has to be a player feared by fullbacks.  He has to be threatening, and his quality must remain consistent in order to be a DP.  Previously, much of the argument as to whether he should stay was due to the DP contract.

However, according to The Athletic, sporting director David Lee revealed Medina’s four-year contract as a Young DP is only for this first three seasons, so he will not be a DP in the final year.  Despite his improvement, this is positive news, for this means NYCFC can go after not one, but two Designated Players for the 2021 season.

Nevertheless, the playoffs are a magical time, and the perfect time to solidify and prove fans and the media wrong.  He can be one of the NYCFC players that are solid and consistent difference makers.  He can score those vital goals that keep NYCFC moving on, or conduct a perfect pass to Castellanos.  Even though his contract changes for next season, this is the time for Medina to illuminate why he was signed as a Young DP.

There will still be questions going into 2021.  Recently, there were rumblings about the Brazilian team Grêmio putting in an offer for Medina.  Between the Paraguayan recently coming into form, and 2021 being the final year of his contract, this might be the time to sell.  Certainly, no decisions will be declared until after the playoffs and conclusion of the Champions League.  But regardless of what New York City FC decides to do, it will be the right decision, as long as Medina continues to be consistent, score goals, and make a difference in the attack.