As they search for their first win in 2016, Columbus Crew SC will be without one of their most important defensive pieces for a few weeks.
Head coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed to reporters at Tuesday’s training session that center back Gaston Sauro will miss two-to-four weeks with a hamstring strain that the Crew SC boss categorized as fairly minor.
Sauro hurt his hamstring in Saturday’s 2-0 loss to the Montreal Impact. He could be seen grabbing his leg and signaling for a substitution before exiting in the 26th minute.
Berhalter said the injury will “hurt a little bit,” but added that he has confidence in backup Tyson Wahl and newly acquired center back Amro Tarek.
“Tyson has done a good job, and we have a lot of confidence in Tyson,” Berhalter said. “We got our only shutout of the  playoffs with Tyson, so he’s done a good job. And Amro, if he gets called on, will be ready as well.”
Sauro was acquired last August with Targeted Allocation Money from Swiss club FC Basel. It took the center back a few weeks to find his footing, before he earned his first start on Sept. 6.
His debut was immediately cut short when he suffered a concussion in a collision with teammate Wil Trapp, and Sauro did not see the field again until he took over as the go-to pairing with captain Michael Parkhurst for the team’s final three regular-season games and their MLS Cup playoff run.
He has started every game this season.
Meanwhile, Wahl is a familiar name to Crew SC fans. The veteran is in his 11th MLS season, and started 18 games in each of the last two years under Berhalter. In 2015, Wahl beat out Emanuel Pogatetz to be the preferred starter next to Parkhurst until Sauro’s arrival.
Crew SC are 0-3-2 this season, and are the only team in MLS without a win. They host New York City FC on Saturday (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE), ending a three-game road trip.