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Alex Callens called up to Peru, will probably miss playoff game against Orlando

Don’t expect NYCFC’s ironman centerback to take the field in Florida

MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC have a tough test ahead of them against Orlando City in the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Lions are a good team and City will have to play them on the road — not an optimal matchup at all. And unfortunately, it might’ve just been made a bit tougher.

Perennial starting center back Alexander Callens has been called up to Peru’s national team for World Cup qualifying matches against Chile and Argentina.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal. But due to mandatory quarantining due to COVID-19, Callens will likely be forced to miss City’s opening playoff game against Orlando.

Manager Ronny Deila alluded to Callens’ impending national team call-up being part of the reason the Peruvian defender was pulled at halftime during NYCFC’s 4-3 over the Chicago Fire on Sunday.

With James Sands still out with a foot injury, it’s pretty much imminent that Sebastien Ibeagha is called upon to at least temporarily cover for Callens.