New York City FC is not known for signing their MLS SuperDraft picks. They have had some luck in the past, especially in the first round with players like Jack Harrison, but most picks are not signed to the team. Kevin O'Toole and Luis Barraza are lucky ones who earned their contracts after the draft.
However, to the surprise of some, NYCFC has signed first-round draft pick Malachi Jones to a first-team contract through 2025. There are options through 2027.
NYCFC has signed Malachi Jones
It was a little shocking that NYCFC signed him without a full preseason evaluation. At the same time, draft picks can now return to school, and there were questions on whether Jones would do so. His potential might have put the pressure on the Pigeons to sign him now and see how he develops over the next two years.
The eighth overall pick was successful in college, for he scored 12 times and had 15 assists during his two years at Lipscomb University. He started 10 of the 17 matches he played in this past year. His quickness and abilities during 1 v 1 situations are notable when he plays. As many know, the level between college and Major League Soccer is immense. Can Jones play in the league? That is something he must prove.
Meanwhile, Sporting Director David Lee illuminated that NYCFC wanted Jones to be a part of the team from the beginning. They had to convince Jones to sign on the dotted line.
"When we drafted Malachi, we were unsure if he would be willing to leave school to pursue a professional career, but we believed that he was one of the most talented players in the MLS SuperDraft," he told NYCFC.com. "Since we selected Malachi, we have been able to present what we believe the opportunities and benefits of joining our Club would be and we’re delighted that he has made this decision."
Clearly, New York City FC sees Jones' potential. One can only hope he can be successful in MLS. No matter what, he will be a depth piece in 2024. The winger should use this season to focus on development. Who knows? He may make his debut sooner rather than later.