As the young MLS season begins to take shape, here are some players to keep an eye on for daily fantasy plays.
If there’s anything apart from goal scoring and ball-kicking that football has taught us about nearly every soccer player, it is that injuries are inevitable. As a matter of fact, kicking a curb in the field of play or while sparring on the training ground is deemed as a rite of passage for all football stars – what is the essence of being a true player if injuries do not come to make you stronger and more determined? Well, injuries are no doubt avoided by all means possible, as it does not just take away the time on the pitch for players, but also costs their clubs a truckload of money to solve, depending on the kind of complication. Per the essence of this read, some MLS players have shown the world that they can beat the odds that injuries have stacked up right against them and return to the green rectangle to do even better, upping their games and developing their careers in all ways possible. In no particular order, here are some of them.
Argentine professional footballer Gaston Sauro kicked a curb during his soccer career, with many times during his seemingly interminable recovery that he thought he would never again be in the field of play. The doctors gave the Columbus Crew SC defender a 50-50 dice of ever returning to do what he loves as he set to go under the knife last spring for an experimental surgery which hopes had would repair a torn PCL and damaged left-knee cartilage. The 28-year-old, after coming out of the ordeal, felt it was time to finally hang his boots. Capped by his persistent knee pain following his returning to fill traini9ng tp full preseason, it seemed very much like the end of the road. But 19 months after his last show on an MLS tournament, Gaston allayed his many fears as well as that of his fans. Making a long-awaited comeback to the field, he appeared in Columbus’ goalless draw at Sporting Kansas City over the weekend, coming off the bench to play the final 13 minutes to help the 10-man team earn a road point.
According to the Seattle Sounders Football Club goalie, one of the toughest moments for him was when he suffered a leg injury in 2012. The injury which took the Swiss footballer more than a year to recover from was an ordeal that needed the goalkeeper to do everything he can to get back from quicker, faster and stronger. While it was a mental challenge to overcome, Fei needs all the help he could get from the outside. And despite it taking a whole while and fed with certain doubts, Stefan was able to make it through, finding himself in a new situation with his team. Seattle Sounders have him the needed confidence, gave him the room to develop and fight his way back out from that dark place. Stefan was reported to have left practice in crutches and wearing an air cast, as a result of an injury that was one of the non-contact variety, which appeared to involved him getting his cleat stick in the grass.
Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club, after many rumors and acceptable MLS gossips, took to the media to confirm that there defender Kendall Waston had undergone a successful surgery one afternoon to repair the fracture which developed on his right hand. Watson was beaten down by not only the hand injury, as he as well suffered a left hip strain during the first half of Costa Rica’s FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Trinidad and Tobago on the 13th day of June 2017. The spokesmen for the club expressed their delight over the success of the surgery, while Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson said that Kendall will continue rehabbing his ship, with the anticipation of him coming back to training with the group in about two to three weeks. Watson who is 29 years old has sent the ball to the back of any of his opponent’s net two times and has recorded one assist in 12 MLS matches, before the hamstring injury. He was among the MLS leaders with 12 blocks and 79 clearances at the time of his injury, He also started all four of the CONCACAF Champions League matches in 2017.
C.J Sapong, an American footballer, was reported by Philadelphia Union to have been officially diagnosed with a concussion and fracture in the zygomatic bone in his left cheek, in what seemed like a pretty serious medical development for the forward. The diagnosis came following what happened near the business end of the first half during what was the team’s season opener with Colorado Rapids on the other side of the pitch on March 7. As a result, he was taken off and replaced with his teammate Cristian Maidana to begin the second half. The forward as at the time of the diagnosis was in his first season with the Union. His club was praised for dealing the number 10 overall pick in the 2105 MLS SuperDraft to Sporting Kansas City to acquire his rights. Initially drafted by Sporting in 2011, C.J Sapong was the MLS Rookie of the Year, on the backs of his five goals and the same number of assists while making an appearance in every game that was played that year. In 2012, Sapong went on to follow his record up with what was his career-best nine goals, something not short of significance for the 26-year-old.