ORANGEBURG, N.Y. — New York City FC defender James Sands requires surgery on a broken right collarbone and will miss the remainder of Major League Soccer’s regular season and likely the early stages of the postseason.
The 19-year-old homegrown player will be sidelined a minimum of six-to-eight weeks, according to NYCFC coach Dome Torrent.
“It’s a pity for the player, a young player who started to play this year and played amazing,” Torrent said after Monday’s training session. “But we have to get used to working without Jimmy.”
Sands sustained the fractured clavicle minutes into Saturday’s 4-1 victory at FC Cincinnati, when Mathieu DePlagne fell heavily on top of him. On June 6, Sands suffered a broken right arm against FCC in a 5-2 home triumph after colliding with his goalkeeper, Brad Stuver.
Sands, a Rye, N.Y., native missed four matches for the broken arm and had since returned to the starting XI in five of the past six matches.
“It’s not good news for us because I love this player,” Torrent said after the game Saturday. “We need this player. We need everybody, but especially this player. Sometimes the soccer is not fair with the players, and right now it’s not fair with Jimmy. He deserves to play with our team. He’s an amazing player. It’s bad news for us.”
Sands began the season in the midfield but dropped into the back line when Torrent altered the team’s shape from four at the back to three. Torrent said his side can maintain their preferred shape without Sands.
“You can play in the same system,” he said, noting that during the U.S. Open Cup he played three in the back with Alex Ring, Maxime Chanot and Sebastien Ibeagha. “And the team played amazing, but everybody knows it is very important for the build-up with Jimmy because he has another quality with the ball.”