Although listed as questionable on the Major League Soccer injury report with a hamstring injury, New York City FC head coach Dome Torrent said that Maxi Moralez will not play Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes.
“Maybe if we have a playoff game we take a risk,” Torrent said on Friday’s media conference call. “But not in this moment because he had a medical test and he’s not 100-percent fit. We prefer to rest for this game and for sure he will be ready for Dallas the next game.”
NYCFC travels to Frisco, Texas for a match at FC Dallas next Sunday.
The consequences of life without the MLS assist leader are expressed in the numbers. New York City is winless in the last eight games without Moralez (0-5-3).
Former City attacker, Tommy McNamara, started in place of the injured Moralez in a 2-0 defeat defeat of the LA Galaxy on August 12, 2017 – City’s last triumph without the 5-foot 3 inch Argentinian.
Torrent says that Moralez has attributes that others fail to match in the possession game – the desired design of the second-year coach.
“These kind of players have another quality,” Torrent said. “Because when you are in trouble he knows exactly the best way to play. Sometimes you keep the ball, sometimes you have to play quickly or he’s able to make these amazing passes behind the defenders. You can keep the ball with this kind of player. In my style it is very important.”
Moralez, with a career high 18 assists, was absent in the 1-1 draw with Toronto FC on Wednesday night when City held possession for a season-low home mark of 55-percent. In the previous match at Vancouver, the maestro helped guide City to a 3-1 triumph with 58-percent of the ball.
“The last game against Vancouver we played much better,” Torrent said. “Our style changes a little bit when you play with other players. You can play well but a little bit different because the quality of the players is different.”
Torrent emphasized that Moralez’ ailment, sustained while reaching for the ball on Jesus Medina’s equalizer in the 2-1 victory versus New England, will not be debilitating.
“It is not serious,” Torrent said. “He had discomfort and he finished the game – we had a medical test and it’s not serious.”