WASHINGTON — D.C. United midfielder Paul Arriola is expected to miss the 2020 Major League Soccer season and 2022 World Cup qualifiers due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He will undergo ACL reconstructive surgery Monday and is projected to miss nine months while recovering, the team announced Saturday.
The versatile starter tore his ACL in the 30th minute of a preseason game against Orlando City SC earlier this month. Initially, the team and Arriola reserved official statements on his prognosis until further medical evaluation. Those evaluations came Friday.
In additional to being a regular starter for United, Arriola has been a consistent piece in the U.S. Men’s National Team. While recovering, Arriola will miss 2022 World Cup qualifying games later this year, including the inaugural Concacaf Nations League semifinals.
Arriola works best on the wing for both club and country. At United, midfielder Julian Gressel will likely take his spot on the right. Prior to his injury, Arriola could have shifted to the left flack, starting alongside Gressel. Without Arriola, midfielder Yamil Asad moves up the depth chart at the left midfield position.
The biggest loss that comes with Arriola’s injury on the field is his versatility. During the past two-and-a-half seasons, he has played both wings, right back and in the No. 10 role. In 68 appearances, Arriola has tallied 14 goals and 12 assists.