Like James Sands before him, New York City FC winger Jonathan Lewis needs games. And like Sands, Lewis is headed to the United Soccer League’s Louisville City FC on a six-match loan.
Unless summoned by New York City FC, the Lewis loan will expire at the conclusion of the USL regular season on Oct. 13. Lewis will be eligible for the remainder of the MLS regular season, which concludes Oct. 28, and postseason.
It has been a disjointed 2018 for the Akron University product. Lewis did not play a moment of the first 13 matches – then came off the bench in 10 consecutive contests, often providing a necessary spark which led to one goal and three assists.
What followed was a pair of matches out of the squad then four straight brief reserve appearances – a three-minute cameo against the Red Bulls, 11 minutes at Columbus, 15 minutes versus New England and 9 minutes for the 1-1 home draw with D.C. United.
With the return of injured forwards Jesus Medina and Jo Inge Berget, there was little room for Lewis to receive the playing time that he desires – and needs.
Sands returned from a three-game loan stint with Louisville City and his former under-17 national team coach, John Hackworth, with renewed confidence and effectiveness.
NYCFC head coach Dome Torrent strongly intimated that Sands would go back on loan with Hackworth’s USL side after he had returned from Kentucky to provide influential performances against both New England and D.C. United.
On July 11, Lewis assisted on the game-winning finish from Maxi Moralez in the 1-0 Hudson River Derby result at Yankee Stadium. Three days later in the Bronx, Lewis played a season high 35 minutes in a 2-0 triumph over Columbus contributing the game-winning assist on a Medina goal.
NYCFC announced that midfielder Yangel Herrera has been activated to the first team – returning from a nearly four-month absence from injury. To make room for Herrera, Cedric Hountondji was de-activated from the team. The Frenchman started and suffered a hamstring tear just six minutes into the U.S. Open Cup match at Red Bull Arena. It was his second appearance in his first season with the club. In week five at San Jose, Hountondji played one minute.