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Is there still room for Ismael Tajouri-Shradi?

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The winger is still recovering from injury. But has his spot been taken?

MLS: Philadelphia Union at New York City FC Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: I have to take some responsibility for something — I misread the injury report and initially wrote that Tajouri-Shradi is available for selection. He is not.

Original story (w/ some minor edits): The last time Ismael Tajouri-Shradi took the field for New York City FC, it was July 3 on the road against the Seattle Sounders — a game that ended 3-0 in favor of City. Since that day, ITS has yet to take the field due to an undisclosed ankle injury.

Almost a month later, the Libyan winger has been omitted is still featured on NYCFC’s injury list..

For Tajouri-Shradi, it’s been a long, continuous road back and his return should be anticipated by fans of NYCFC. However, things have definitely changed since the Libyan last took the field. The most notable of these changes is the addition of winger Gary Mackay-Steven, who has looked pretty good in the small amount of minutes he’s been given to date.

As talented as ITS is, there is one thing that may be in his way — that is ‘momentum.’ Seeing as he has missed a month’s worth of action — and could potentially miss more — it is highly unlikely that he will be match fit upon returning. And to become match fit takes time — a few minutes here, a few minutes there, a start here, etc. And whether or not Domé Torrent can afford any time to experiment in such key times is a mystery.

Neither Maxi Moralez or Héber are benchable, that much is clear. Alexandru Mitrita has been hot and cold all season, but is too early and too valuable to let sit on the sidelines. Mackay-Steven has only been seen in spurts, but has impressed in the limited time he’s gotten.

So, who gets the shaft upon the Libyan’s return? Well, your guess is as good as mine. But Tajouri-Shradi needs to get fit, and soon. If the body doesn’t cooperate, then it could spell disaster for the rest of his time in the Big Apple.

Tajouri-Shradi has 4 goals and 2 assist in 12 appearances this season.