As we already know, this international “break” has not been kind to New York City FC. Faced with two key matchups approaching against the New England Revolution and Toronto FC, City were looking at missing up to six players due to international call-ups. These players include Alexander Callens, Ronald Matarrita, Sean Johnson, Justin Haak, Tony Rocha, and Maxime Chanot.
That’s... a lot. But one of these players has decided to remain with the team for at least one of these important games.
A few days ago, @JLa_NYC on Twitter claimed that Chanot had turned down his international call-up to Luxembourg in order to remain with the team.
All aglow when @MaximeChanot explains he chose not to go immediately to play for his national team call up because important things are happening here with #nycfc #committed pic.twitter.com/adBGaQWeiY— JLa (@JLa_NYC) September 3, 2019
Yesterday, Glenn Crooks somewhat confirmed this development, saying that Chanot would stay for NYCFC’s matchup against New England, but would eventually report to Luxembourg and miss the Toronto game.
Maxime Chanot delaying departure for international duty w/ Luxembourg & is available Sat & @jrojasa75 broke huge news about Maxi - all on #SoccerInTheCity - we are recording soon. I wish I had more news on Heber injury but do not at this point. #NYCFC #NYCvNE #MLS #MLSPlayoffs— Glenn Crooks (@GlennCrooks) September 4, 2019
You can’t hear it or see it, but I just breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Obviously, all absences are key at this point in the season. And yes, Chanot will miss a game after this weekend. But to retain one of your best players for at least one game definitely helps to mitigate the damage just a bit, especially when that player is a defender — an area that has been particularly drained by this recent slew of international call-ups.
Let’s hope that Chanot’s remaining with the team can push what is sure to be a makeshift backline in the right direction against the Revs.