David Villa after coming off the field Sunday. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
BRONX — David Villa could miss one or two New York City FC games with an injury, according to new head coach Domenec Torrent.
Villa injured his right knee during NYCFC’s 2-1 win over Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium Sunday. He was replaced by Jesus Medina in the 28 minute.
“It’s bad news for us because he is a key man for our team,” Torrent said during his first press conference with the media. “He has a lot of experience, especially in these kind of games. It is not good news.”
Torrent said he was waiting for a doctor’s report about Villa, who has tallied eight goals in 13 matches this season.
“Right now I spoke with him,” he said of Villa. “He told it’s not serious, but we are waiting for the doctor. It is not serious, but maybe he needs one or two games. I don’t know exactly.”
Depending on the severity of the injury, the 36-year-old Villa could miss Saturday game at the Chicago Fire and the Hudson River Derby against the Red Bulls at the stadium July 8.
Torrent wanted to accenturate the positive, saying that City has a talent to overcome an injury to the Spanish international over the short term.
For example, Jo Inge Berget, who had scored only one goal in 938 minutes over 12 matches entering Sunday’s action, struck twice with 17 minutes in the second half — in the 51st and 68th minute to turn a one-goal deficit into a 2-1 lead.
“We have fantastic players,” Torrent said. “We have a talented team. I think the best way to win the game without David is not easy for us because he is the referencing [point] of our offensive team.”
Villa was unavailable for comment as he already had left the locker room by the time the media had arrived after Torrent’s press conference.