New York City FC is preparing to play their second consecutive match without their captain, David Villa.
Villa has yet to participate in a full training session since he suffered a calf injury in the week two victory over the L.A. Galaxy. Villa provided the game-winner in the 2-1 triumph over the Galaxy when he finished a rebound for his first goal of the season. He celebrated his 100th game with NYCFC and Major League Soccer with his 66th career goal. Villa was sidelined for the 2-0 home victory over Orlando City last Saturday.
On Wednesday, Villa trained on the side and a final decision about his status for Saturday’s road match against the New England Revolution will be made on Friday.
NYCFC will be wary to push Villa at this stage of the season recalling the repeated calf issues that limited the contributions of the former Designated Player, Frank Lampard. Compounding their doubts will be the artificial surface at Gillette Stadium.
Rodney Wallace filled in admirably as the No. 9 against Orlando City, heading a ball off the post in the opening half while organizing the two first-year wingers, Jesus Medina and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi. However, Wallace has been summoned by the Costa Rican national team and will be unavailable for the Revolution match.
Barring unforeseen issues, Norwegian striker Jo Inge Berget is fit and will be in the squad on Saturday as a candidate to fill-in for Villa. The leading scorer for Swedish champions Malmo FF in 2017 has yet to compete in a scrimmage or a regular match for NYCFC. Berget was projected for the 18 against Orlando City but became ill before the match. In preseason, he missed considerable time with a quad strain.
NYCFC was 1-2 in games missed by Villa last season and 3-5 since he arrived in 2015.