It’s always nice to see fellow Pigeons doing their thing on the international circuit. So long as they don’t get hurt, most New York City FC fans would probably agree that any and all of their players who receive international call-ups are great ambassadors for the club and MLS at large, even if it means missing some game time in the league.
Unfortunately, NYCFC supporters feared the worst when center back Alex Callens was pulled in the first half for Peru in their Copa America match against Venezuela. It would be revealed that Callens had sustained an unknown hamstring injury and would miss the subsequent Quarterfinal matchup against Paraguay.
Fortunately, the injury isn’t as bad as it could’ve been — Callens only suffered a minor strain. The center back has been in constant contact with NYCFC manager Ronny Deila via text and has confirmed that he will be available for selection for tonight’s Copa America Semifinal which pits Peru against South American giants Brazil.
Alexander Callens sent a text to #NYCFC coach Ronny Deila & said he is available for selection in tonight's #CopaAmerica semifinal for #Peru vs. #Brazil 7pm EST.— Glenn Crooks (@GlennCrooks) July 5, 2021
Callens started 3 straight matches before suffering an injury.#CopaAmerica2021 #NYCFC #MLS @NYCFC @MLS @ThirdRailSC
Even if Peru pull off an upset and get past the Brazilians tonight, Deila expects Callens to return to NYCFC training by next Monday the latest. In the meantime, City will have to make due with backup center back Sebastien Ibeagha while James Sands — along with goalkeeper Sean Johnson — is away on international duty for the USMNT as the Stars & Stripes embark on their Gold Cup journey.
Even if Callens will miss Wednesday’s game against CF Montreal, one would expect him to be back with the Bronx Blues in time for their July 17 game against the Columbus Crew.