Red Bulls’ Michael Bustamante out for the season

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

Just as New York Red Bull midfielder Michael Bustamante had a chance to earn long sought after minutes for the club, he suffered a significant setback.

According to a team release, Bustamante will miss the rest of the 2014 season after undergoing successful ACL surgery on his right knee. Bustamante picked up the injury during training earlier this month. The procedure was performed by Dr. Riley Williams III.

Bustamante has not made a regular season appearance this year. However, he did take part in the 3-0 loss to the New York Cosmos in the team’s lone U.S. Open Cup match, and also appeared in the New York Cup against Arsenal late last month.

The 2013 Supplemental Draft Pick could not have picked a worst time to pick up his injury. New York are staring down a treacherous six week stretch that will see the club play 10 matches in 36 days. These matches will include a vital string of regular season encounters against the likes of D.C. United, Sporting K.C., the Seattle Sounders and L.A. Galaxy, but also three CONCACAF Champions League games against Montreal and FAS of El Salvador.

While not a regular starter, Bustamante would have almost been assured minutes with the team’s over-loaded schedule. Without Bustamante, New York have 26 eligible players on their roster, with loanee Connor Lade a potential 27th on the list.