Diego Rossi. Photo courtesy of LAFC.
Paraguayan Jesus Medina,
who says he came to MLS on Almiron's recommendation, has one goal and two assists in three starts for NYCFC, which has started the season with a 3-0-0 record for the first time in its history.
The only game in which he did not have a goal or an assist was in the 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy when he exited after 68 minutes, but NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira loves his attitude.
“I love the way he worked for the team and how he created space for the players,” Vieira said afterwards. “He’s got the quality to make the assist or the pass before the assist. He understands the game really well. What I love about him as well -- he wasn’t happy to come off.”
Jesus Medina. Photo by Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Argentine Milton Valenzuela, 19, filled one of only three open positions on 2017 Eastern Conference runner-up Columbus but a position that had been a problem area for a couple of seasons -- left back.
Valenzuela, who followed in a long line of Argentines in Columbus that includes teammates Federico Higuain and Gaston Sauro, had an assist on the opening goal of the MLS season in the 2-0 win at Toronto FC and has been an excellent two-way player for the Crew, which is unbeaten and has yet to give up a goal on the road.
The Crew depends on its outside backs to contribute to its attack, but head coach Gregg Berhalter has been impressed with Valenzuela's work on defense, his poise in one-on-one situations and his concentration.
"To me," Berhalter said after the TFC win, "he plays older than 19 years old.”
New in 2018: Young Designated Players:
AGE PLAYER (MLS TEAM, COUNTRY)
18 Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United FC, Argentina)
19 Josue Colman (Orlando City, Paraguay)
19 *Milton Valenzuela (Columbus Crew SC, Argentina)
20 Diego Rossi (Los Angeles FC, Uruguay)
20 Jesus Medina (New York City FC, Paraguay)
23 Santiago Mosquera (FC Dallas, Colombia)
23 Alejandro Romero Gamarra (NY Red Bulls, Argentina)