New York City FC manager Ronny Deila announced that two players are unavailable for tomorrow’s CONCACF Champions League Semifinal game against the Seattle Sounders: Midfielder Maxi Moralez and defender Maxime Chanot are both injured, and will not be on the game-day roster.
No Maxi, no Maxime, no good.
Moralez reportedly is recovering from bruised ribs sustained last week in training in Seattle before the first leg of the CCL Semifinals. Chanot reportedly suffered an eye injury while on international duty for the Luxembourg national team last month.
NYCFC lost the first leg by a score of 3-1 and will need to score at least two goals to advance to the finals. These injuries will make that task much more difficult.
Playmaker Moralez also missed the first leg, and NYCFC’s attack was flat and predictable without the playmaker on the field. The hope was the injury was minor enough to allow for Moarlez to return to the team and pull the strings the way he did when NYCFC won the MLS Cup last December.
Center-back Chanot missed the first leg as well. Player Thiago Martins, NYCFC’s newest Designated Player, started in his place, but the highly-regarded defender made some costly errors, including committing a foul in the penalty box that led to Seattle’s third goal. Pundits were hoping that Deila would play Chanot instead of Martins, and return to the defensive form that shut down other teams last season.
Seattle head coach Brian Schmetzer announced that his squad are mostly fit, with only defender Yeimar Gomez sitting out because of injury. Gomez also missed the first leg in Seattle. Defender Nouhou Tolo, a Cameroon international who didn’t play in the first leg because of yellow card accumulation, will be on the game-day roster.