Two games into their MLS season, the Impact have had to add two names to their long-term injury list.
After Justin Mapp dislocated and fractured his elbow two weeks ago, rookie forward Cameron Porter suffered a knee ligament injury – as confirmed to MLSsoccer.com by an Impact spokesperson – on Saturday, as Montreal managed a 0-0 draw away against the New England Revolution.
One of the greatest stories of this season was cut short in the 18th minute, when Porter landed awkwardly on the Gillette Stadium turf after jumping for a header some 30 yards from goal. Replays showed his left leg twisting and buckling as he planted.
“We have to wait and see tomorrow, when we go back, with our doctors,” head coach Frank Klopas told reporters postgame. “Hopefully, it’s not too bad, but whatever it is, nowadays, if he needs to take care of something… We’ll see. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, and we’ll [know] better tomorrow.”
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Porter had won a starting spot the old-fashioned way, performing well as a sub. Klopas thus rewarded him with a CONCACAF Champions League semifinal first leg start against Alajuelense on Wednesday.
Porter’s awareness and hustle helped Montreal to a 2-0 win against their Costa Rican opponents. Alas, it was as he pressed New England defender Darrius Barnes while chasing a long ball that he picked up the injury.
“It was an off-the-ball incident, so that makes it worse,” midfielder Calum Mallace said. “But we’re all crossing our fingers and hoping that he’ll be all right. Hopefully, we’ll hear some news soon.”
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Montreal didn’t win it for Porter, but under the circumstances, the young man will appreciate his teammates’ efforts. Down a man for 30 minutes after right back Hassoun Camara picked up a second yellow card, the Impact displayed resolve and sturdiness at the back.
They didn’t threaten Bobby Shuttleworth’s goal much in that last half hour. But Montreal’s confidence when in possession, working the ball up the field at times and giving their defense time to breath, pleased the Impact staff.
“We were super as a team, the whole game,” Klopas said. “We deserved to get a result. The team showed incredible character and team spirit together. The first half, we had a lot of control of the game. Then, it was normal to lose some possession in the second half, going down [to 10 men]. But our ability to win 50-50 balls and make sure that everyone was committed to defending, keeping a clean sheet and walking away with a point was there.”