A difficult month just got a lot worse for James Sands.
First the 18-year-old New York City FC Homegrown signing missed out on playing in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, and now Sands will likely be out for a month after suffering a broken arm in a 5-2 win over FC Cincinnati at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night.
Sands, who has been a defensive rock whether it’s as a holding midfielder or — more recently — as a central defender, suffered the injury in a collision with goalkeeper Brad Stuver. He attempted to play through the pain, but was forced off for Sebastien Ibeagha in the 57th minute.
Although NYCFC don’t play another MLS game until June 29, Sands will be sorely missed for next week’s U.S. Open Cup match against North Carolina FC. It further complicates things for coach Dome Torrent, who will also be without Alexander Callens and Maxime Chanot to international duty, leaving Ibeagha as the only true center back on his roster.
“It’s a shame for Jimmy,” Torrent said of Sands, who was on the verge of being called up to Jason Kreis’ U.S. U-23 national team. “I’m so sorry for him because he deserved to play for the national team and it was a good opportunity for him. After that happened we have to adapt quickly. We can play with Chanot. He’ll miss the Open Cup, but he’ll be back for the next game against Philadelphia 100 percent.”
Torrent could slide Alex Ring back to partner with Ibeagha or Ben Sweat, who missed Thursday’s match with an ankle injury.
Either way, it’s certain that Sands — who has started all 12 games he’s appeared in this season — will be sidelined for up to a month.
“We have to adapt. Don’t complain because you waste time when you think about this,” Torrent said. “We have to choose the right players for the next game. I repeat it’s a pity for him because he played really well in the season, but he’s a young player and he has time to to recover. The most important thing is recover well and after that he has time to play again for us.”
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