FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas will be without playmaker Alan Velasco for the next few months as the Argentine suffered an ACL tear Monday at Lumen Field.
Velasco sustained the injury within the first minute of FC Dallas’ opening playoff game Monday night, a 2-0 defeat to the Seattle Sounders. Without knowing the extent of his injury, Velasco continued playing until the 18th minute when the pain forced him to the ground. He was replaced by midfielder Liam Fraser.
“Everyone is sad because Alan is a lovely kid, we all love him, not only for what he brings on the field but off the field he’s an amazing guy and teammate,” said head coach Nico Estévez. “It’s the worst part sports, when any player gets injured. Now, we have to think about his recovery.”
It’s a huge blow for Velasco personally and for FC Dallas’ playoff campaign. Velasco earned his first U23 Argentina call-up earlier this season and had realistic hopes of remaining on the team for next summer’s Olympic Games in Paris. Dallas, one game into its playoff series against Seattle, enters Game 2 needing to win to keep the series alive and force Game 3.
“I think the team has to use this as motivation to do something great for him,” Estévez said.
With Velasco sidelined, the next man up is likely forward Bernard Kamungo, who himself was Questionable heading into Game 1 with a lingering ankle injury suffered on the final day of the regular season (a game in which he scored two goals). Although Kamungo only played 15 minutes on Monday, there’s optimism he’ll be available to start Game 2 after another few days of rest. Kamungo has proved he can be the man for the big occasion numerous times this season and he’ll likely be relied upon again with FCD’s season on the line.
Velasco is the third FCD player to suffer a serious knee injury this season after forward Tarik Scott and defender Geovane Jesus both went down with ACL tears. Estévez estimates Velasco will be out of action for nine to 10 months.