TORONTO, Canada—Less than a week before resuming their 2020 MLS campaign, Toronto FC has received some unfortunate news.
The club will be without standout rookie Achara for the remainder of the season after he suffered an ACL tear. Achara will now undergo surgery on July 7, the day before the MLS is Back tournament is set to kick off in Orlando, Fl.
Achara injured his ACL after getting tangled up in a scrimmage at BMO Field with defender Omar Gonzalez on one of the last plays of the day.
“It was nothing more than a soccer play, but it was really unfortunate and obviously Achara comes out on the wrong side of all of this,” coach Greg Vanney told reporters on a media call Thursday. “It’s disappointing for everybody.”
The 22-year-old winger stole headlines by scoring the winning goal in Toronto FC’s home opener, the last game the club played before its season was postponed. It was an incredibly promising debut the club’s 2020 1st round selection (25th overall) out of Georgetown.
NEWS | Achara out for remainder of season with ACL tear.#TFCLive— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) July 2, 2020
“For me, he’s a potential starter everyday,” added Vanney. “The fact that he’s done well, he’s scored in almost every game, he’s shown that he’s goal-dangerous every game...for me, in terms of my planning, he was a really important piece...we’ll miss him.”
Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore offered his teammate comisserations on Twitter, saying “2020 has been a tough one. Hope for a full and speedy recovery for the young buck”.
Time spent on the sidelines and away from regular training due to the Covid-19 pandemic will unfortunately heighten the injury risk for a number of players going forward. Muscle injuries in general have been quite common in the resumption of leagues over in Europe, and will force training staffs to be extra cautious with their players.