However, the US men’s national teamer might not miss the entire campaign as was feared after having ACL surgery Feb. 24 to repair a long-term knee injury suffered in preseason. Such injuries tend to take nine months – give or take – to fully recover from, and the prolonged pause could impact Arriola’s timeline.
Eyes initially shifted towards a 2021 return. Now, maybe not so much.
“I try not to think too much about it, but who is to say that won’t change in a couple months when I feel really good and am itching to get back out there?” Arriola told Steven Goff of The Washington Post. “If the season gets pushed back, there is a high possibility I could return. That’s just me. November 24 is nine months [since surgery]. I don’t know what is going to happen, how this all plays out.”
The exact parameters of the 2020 season aren’t locked in, though few things are during the novel coronavirus-paused world. But the lingering possibilities spark hope that Arriola could factor in alongside offseason additions such as Edison Flores and Julian Gressel.
Arriola, 25 and a Designated Player for D.C., addressed a similar topic last month with MLSsoccer.com’s Tom Bogert:
Arriola said he won't rush back just for the sake of rushing back, and feels as though he has "10-plus years left to play." He also wants to firmly be himself when he returns, the same explosive, persistent and tireless winger that's earned a key role for club and country.
“But all I want to do is play soccer," he admitted after waxing about the dangers of returning too soon.
For more from Arriola in Goff’s story, check out the entire piece here.