After already missing out on a slew of key games due to pelvic inflammation, New York City FC announced this week that first-choice central defender Maxime Chanot had undergone sports hernia surgery and would likely be out for most, if not all, of the remainder of the MLS regular season.
This isn’t great news— although the Boys in Blue have proven that they can win big games without the Luxembourg international’s services, the back line is just one more injury or suspension away from a major crisis. With that in mind, we heard this news from training Wednesday courtesy of our friends at Blue City Radio:
Vieira said the club is looking to add CB to the roster. Unnamed trialist at training today. #NYCFC— Blue City Radio (@BlueCityRadio) August 23, 2017
BUT WHO COULD IT BE?
The answer comes today from WFAN color commentator and Sirius XM host Glenn Crooks:
Thorpe, who can also cover at center defensive midfield per Transfermarkt, has been a free agent since his contract with Rotherham expired on July 1st. He made 25 appearances in all competitions while on loan in League One with Bolton.
While no serious contender ought to be relying on a late-season trialist to suddenly metamorphose into an impact player, making a prudent move for depth is an imperative, especially given NYCFC’s frustrating inability to get a deal done before the close of the league’s summer transfer window. Such is the case of a team that’s utterly capped out in a league that won’t let its fatcat owners spend what they want to spend.
But assuming that Claudio Reyna & Co. close the deal on a journeyman on a tidy contract, keep one thing in mind:
Thorpe, or someone like him, could be the next Ben Sweat; the next ostensible castoff that makes good.
Is that likely? No, it isn’t. But as long as New York City’s defense has to keep soldiering without both Chanot and Ronald Matarrita, this is the time of year that a little bit of faith could very well mean the difference between a credible Cup run and a teeth-gnashing crashout.