Things are starting to come together for Rochester’s Med City FC and, as I so ably predicted in my initial power rankings, the Medicals are looking every inch a dark horse contender for the league.
I took the time to watch yesterday’s Facebook Live event so you don’t have to, but in case you’re worried that this particular blog will traffic in fake news or alternative facts, there is video evidence. Not my fault if is boring video evidence, especially because City had some exciting news to share.
Midhat Mujic is the club’s first signing, and he is a good one.
Mujic is a local boy who played high school soccer at Mayo High School in Rochester and college ball at St Mary’s in Winona and he has an NPSL pedigree. Last season he was with Minnesota United Reserves and he has the ability to take over a game from wide areas and more than one PLA team will remember having to make adjustments to account for his ability and threat from wide areas. The question for Med City is if Mujic has the consistency and dedication to do that all season long. Right now it is the only player-related question for this team, but it could be a key question for how their season will turn out.
At this level a club’s first moves tend to be an indication of what their next moves are going to be. In addition to an impressive first signing, Med City announced Mayo Sports Medicine as their primary sponsor, and on top of that they have shown an interest in marketing themselves, which are all strong early indicators of an organization that will be successful.
In a short season that is all about momentum, their schedule does them some favors.
Their first game may be a derby, but it’s still against historically inept La Crosse Aris and it’s at home. After that, an away trip to Dakota Fusion will be an interesting market to see how each team progresses, but I think that I would like longer away trips early in the season when the players are fresher and more engaged. Plus, it’s a winnable game and they could easily have six points under their belt before they head to the Twin Cities for Minneapolis City on May 24 and VSLT on May 27.
Med City have the weekend of June 3 off, which could be a valuable time to rest and regroup before a busy June. So often, with Detroit City last year as an example, teams will over-schedule to cram in games and find that they don’t have the legs for a sustained title challenge. Also, having three games at home to finish the season could be decisive should the race for the playoffs go down to the wire.
It’s not a bad schedule, with favorable opening and closing sequences, and I’ll reiterate that Med City FC is my pick as this league’s dark horse.