Mon, 21 Jun 2021

Jesus Medina, NYCFC take show on road vs. Orlando City SC

Field Level Media
08 May 2021, 05:55 GMT+10

Jesus Medina and New York City FC will search for a third consecutive victory -- and a second straight road win -- when they visit the Orlando City SC on Saturday evening.

NYCFC (2-1-0, 6 points) has scored seven unanswered goals since a season-opening loss at D.C. United, routing Cincinnati 5-0 in its lone home match to date before completing an impressive 2-0 win at 10-man Philadelphia last weekend.

Medina has been a crucial part of both victories, scoring twice against Cincinnati while playing on the wing before adding an insurance tally in a central role against Philadelphia.

The 24-year-old rapidly is approaching his highest-scoring season -- 2020, when scored a career-high seven goals -- providing crucial offense as New York City continues to play without striker Heber, who tore his ACL last September.

"His finishing is getting better; his first touch is getting better," NYCFC coach Ronny Deila said of Medina. "He has a big potential, and he can be a national team player for Paraguay. That's the goal for him and us -- to improve him, to get to that stage."

Orlando (1-0-2, 5 points) comes into Saturday on the heels of its first win of the season, 3-0 at home against Cincinnati, following draws against Atlanta and Kansas City to open the year.

The victory over Cincinnati also featured Mauricio Pereyra's return from a two-match suspension that followed his ejection from Orlando's playoff loss to the New England Revolution in last year's Eastern Conference semifinal.

The box-to-box midfielder did not contribute a goal or an assist in his 59-minute shift last weekend. Still, his return gives some stability to a side that is trying to figure out how to cope without injured Alexandre Pato, who suffered a knee injury in Week 1.

"It was a good moment for me," Pereyra said of his return last weekend. "I'm happy to be back. Physically I'm a little bit tight, and it was a little bit difficult for me, but the most important thing for me is to be back with the team. I just need to keep going and do my job."

Pato, a former national team star for Brazil, is expected to miss three to six weeks following surgery this week.

--Field Level Media

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