Hamstring Injury Could Hamper Lawrence

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Kemar Lawrence came out of the first leg playoff game against the Montreal Impact with an apparent hamstring injury. Lawrence, who has been battling injuries all season, played  89 minutes before pulling up lame and being substituted.

“We’re hopeful he’s going to be okay,” said Marsch after the game. “It’s a little bit of a hamstring strain. I think he thinks he caught it early enough that it won’t be a bigger problem.”

Lawrence played 21 games for New York this season but had spells where he was unavailable due to international duty and injury. The biggest miss was when he required surgery for a groin injury suffered during the Copa America Centenario tournament. He missed some time with the team and saw his spot filled in by a platoon of leftbacks.

However, as soon as he returned to full health, Marsch put him back into the starting eleven.

Should he not be fit to go, Jesse Marsch will have to make a tough decision. Youngster Justin Bilyeu has played well in that position but has battled his own set of injuries in 2016. There is also the option of Sal Zizzo but his normal role has been on the right side of the field as opposed to the left. Combined with the red card given to Omer Damari, New York may be shorthanded going into their home leg against the Impact.