Coming off of a Hudson River Derby they’d rather forget, New York City FC have regained the talents of Ismael Tajouri-Shradi heading into Sunday’s matchup against expansion side Los Angeles FC.
The Libyan winger has contributed immensely since joining NYCFC prior to the 2018 preseason. Tajouri-Shradi — who is still only 24 — has amassed 4 goals in 7 total appearances for the Boys in Blue and became a perennial starter prior to receiving a hamstring injury against Atlanta United on April 15.
Tajouri-Shradi’s return is compelling not just because of his own contributions thus far this season. But because it will give fans of NYCFC the chance to see how he will fare with both David Villa and Jesus Medina joining him in the attack. This offensive trio has been seldom seen since the beginning of the season, but most onlookers — myself included — would concur that it is possibly the most optimal moving forward, if only on paper.
A similar phenomenon occurred in 2017 when the midfield teaming of Maxi Moralez, Yangel Herrera, and Alex Ring became the talk of the league and emerged as a triumvirate of rare sorts within Major League Soccer. And the alliance of Villa, Medina, and ITS has the potential to make that kind of an impact.
Should all play out like it most definitely has in our heads for the past months, Tajouri-Shradi’s involvement in creating, or scoring, the goals will bring about much optimism within fans of the New York Blues, who have been forced to witness the mediocrity, albeit consistent contributions of one Jo Inge Berget for the past few games.
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi fires home his fourth of the season so far #ForTheCity pic.twitter.com/sghb4r3ycR— New York City FC (@NYCFC) April 11, 2018
In a week that has been plagued by bad news — most of which stemming from the results of the Hudson River Derby — it’s refreshing to pass along some gems for a change.
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