In case you haven’t noticed, New York City FC isn’t doing too well when it comes to personnel right now. Having lost the likes of Ebenezer Ofori, Ronald Matarrita, and Eloi Amagat to suspension and both Jesus Medina and Jo Inge Berget to injury, NYCFC will be hard pressed to find players who are ready to step up and produce the goods in a tight Supporter’s Shield race that the Boys in Blue currently find themselves on the losing end of.
Factor in the absences of Maxime Chanot and Rodney Wallace due to international duty, and you have up to 7 players that cannot be called upon for the next 1-2 weeks.
Despite such dreary circumstances, there is a silver lining: with so many players being unavailable for selection, the chance for Jonathan Lewis is now there. According to Kyle Schnitzer of the New York Post, manager Domé Torrent has said that it is a possibility that Lewis will start in the next two games against the Columbus Crew on September 1, and the New England Revolution on September 5.
#NYCFC coach Dome Torrent told me that Jonathan Lewis could see time in the starting eleven in the next two games (9/1 vs. Columbus, 9/5 vs. New England).— Kyle Schnitzer (@Kyle_Schnitzer) August 29, 2018
Since he began acquiring more minutes midway through last season, Lewis quickly became a fan favorite due to his pace, his dribbling ability, and his incredible work ethic. And despite some truly great performances, former manager Patrick Vieira kept the former Akron Zip on the bench for much of the first half of 2018.
But since Torrent’s arrival, Lewis has played a bigger role off the bench for NYCFC. And it seems that those late-game performances — in addition to the chunk of players missing from action — has given the 21-year-old winger a chance to prove his worth.
He won’t be alone, either. Recent reports have stated that both Alex Callens and Valentin “Taty” Castellanos will also be returning to match fitness ahead of this weekend. Overall, despite the projected lineup being not quite optimal, the youth will be given a huge chance these next two games to prove their worth. And should they be able to carry the Bronx Blues through the toughest of times, more playing time will certainly be justified.