MONTREAL – It’s as if there’s a curse on some Impact center backs.
Having already parted ways with Nelson Rivas after he got injured again, the Impact announced on Tuesday that Adrian Lopez will be out indefinitely. Just before halftime in a 1-0 win over Chivas USA in MLS Reserve League action on Sunday, July 6, Lopez sustained another ACL tear in his right knee. Unlike Rivas, however, Lopez had next to no history of lower body injuries before signing with Montreal.
Lopez, 27, was previously out for eight months after tearing that same ACL in training last August. Unable to make his MLS debut beforehand – he's only played 44 CONCACAF Champions League minutes with the Montreal first team –, Lopez will have to wait until next season once more.
Head coach Frank Klopas, noticeably sad for Lopez, called it “terrible” news.
“It’s a big blow to us as a team and, I think, to him as a player,” Klopas told reporters. “I’ve been through it before where I went through two ACL [surgeries]. It’s unfortunate for a guy [who worked] so hard, for him and for our team – it was looking really good in the reserve matches and it was just a matter of time, now. He’s a quality player that would have given us good depth, especially now with a lot of games coming up.”
Montreal start their 2014-15 CCL campaign on August 5, at home to El Salvador’s FAS. Despite Lopez’ injury, Klopas reckons that the team doesn’t need to shop for another defender to approach the added fixtures.
“The good thing with us, with a lot of players, is they’ve played some different positions. … So it’s good to get all the other guys healthy,” Klopas said. “I think the flexibility we have, with some of the guys being able to play different spots, it gives us good cover.”
If Lopez’ road back from his previous injury is any indication, he will recover in Barcelona before coming back in Montreal for preseason. Klopas is hoping to see him there.
“It’s a surgery, it’s a second ACL,” Klopas said. “I think it’s a lot different now than when I had mine back in the late 1990s. But it’s definitely a second one. For sure, he can come back. Everyone’s body is a little bit different. I think it’s been proven before that guys can come back and play. But, for us, it’s disappointing, because he’s a quality player that we could have used right now.”