Aaron Long - 2018 - closeup

While the New York Red Bulls saw Kaku return on Wednesday night’s 2-1 home loss to the Montreal Impact, another key piece seems set for the injury report.

Center back Aaron Long went down in 82nd minute clutching his left hamstring and exited shortly thereafter (video above), leaving New York with 10 men to close out the game with all three substitutes used up. He had scored New York's opener with a towering header in the 36th minute. 

"It could be a slight strain in his hamstring," said head coach Chris Armas after the match. "That's all we know right now. There are steps that will be taken to see exactly what's going on there."

Long, part of the US men's national team picture, tried to carry on, but was in clear pain and unable to extend his leg. He was helped off the field by goalkeeper Luis Robles and his center back partner, Tim Parker. If out long-term, Long's injury could complicate Gregg Berhalter's plans for this summer's Gold Cup

The 2018 MLS Defender of the Year was remarkably durable as the Red Bulls won the Supporters’ Shield last year. He started 31 games and appeared in all 34, plus was there every step of the way during a brief playoff run.

"It’s super tight right now," said Long. "We’ll get an MRI tomorrow and see how it feels… No, never felt something like that before. I’m hoping it’s not too bad… Yeah, the hamstring just seized up a little bit. Not really too sure what it is right now, to be honest."

This past offseason, Long was signed to a multi-year deal using Targeted Allocation Money, making him one of the highest-paid defenders in MLS. He was originally selected by the Portland Timbers in 2014 SuperDraft, then increased his profile with New York Red Bulls II, his current club’s reserve side. Long eventually signed with the first team and hasn't looked back since.