PURCHASE, N.Y. – If New York City FC are to break out of a five-match winless streak Friday night in Chicago (8pm ET, UDN), it appears likely the expansion team will do so without David Villa.
The Spanish superstar, who came off at halftime Thursday night against the Philadelphia Union and did not play Sunday against the Portland Timbers, has yet to train fully with NYCFC as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
“I’ll have to check again after this work he’s doing, but obviously he’s been doing work on his own,” NYCFC coach Jason Kreis said after training Wednesday. “He hasn’t been introduced into full training, so it doesn’t look good for this weekend.”
Villa is dealing with his second, although unrelated, hamstring injury, which has resulted in a disjointed start to his first year in Major League Soccer.
“I think we have to take a pause for a moment and see if we can figure out a way to get him healthy enough that we don’t have to deal with this stop-start situation for an entire season,” Kreis said. “That would be incredibly difficult to deal with.”
Mix Diskerud, who missed Sunday’s match after turning an ankle in training on Saturday, spent a portion of Wednesday’s session with the full team, and Kreis is optimistic about the midfielder’s availability Friday.
“He looks pretty good, and I think he feels pretty good about it, so we’re hopeful that with another day of training, he should be ready for Friday,” Kreis said.
Shay Facey (hip) trained fully, and Kreis expects the fullback on loan from Manchester City to be in contention for a spot against the Fire. Kreis isn’t as sure about Josh Williams, who is hobbled with an adductor strain, while Jason Hernandez (calf) will be out.
“I was really happy with the partnership between him and [Chris] Wingert over the first six games,” Kreis said of Hernandez. “It’s unfortunate we’ve picked up a lot of injuries at the same time and that one in particular is difficult for us, but Kwame [Watson-Siriboe] I thought played a really strong match Sunday night. I think we have what looks to be a capable replacement.”
Kreis feared the worst when Tony Taylor was stretchered off late in the first half Sunday, and those fears were realized when the club announced on Tuesday the forward ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament with lateral collateral ligament damage and is lost for the remainder of the season.
“It’s a really difficult one; I’ve been down that road twice myself,” Kreis said. “I know how mentally fatiguing that one can be, but you can come back from it, and I’m quite certain he will.”