The New York Red Bulls weekend of matches against Chicago Fire FC, in both Major League Soccer and MLS NEXT Pro, ended with injuries and red cards.

In summary, a forward was alluded to have a significant leg injury ahead of Saturday. Then, against the Fire, a midfielder looked to have a serious ankle injury.

Finally, on Sunday, a young forward capped off a historic performance with a non-contact injury.

Ahead of Saturday’s match, Red Bulls captain Emil Forsberg held up RBNY homegrown attacker Serge Ngoma’s jersey during the team’s pre-game photo.

The act was in support of the forward, who was listed as out with a knee injury. Considering the circumstances, this does not seem good.

New York Red Bulls
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New York went on to have a middling, frustrating match against Chicago Fire FC. While New York could have won, the team deserved its 0-0 draw. In particular, that’s because the team played down a man for 50 minutes.

Ahead of a Fire free kick, defender Andrés Reyes elbowed Chicago’s Tobias Salqiust in the head. Initially getting a yellow card, the call was VAR checked and upgraded to a straight red.

This is the latest in a long line of dumb and unnecessary fouls committed by the Columbian defender. While head coach Sandro Schwarz told the media after the game that Reyes took responsibility, the frustration of his teammates could easily be seen. Dante Vanzeir and Emil Forsberg especially looked annoyed, with the former kicking a water bottle before being subbed off.

Things got worse for New York late in the second half when Peter Stroud seemed to suffer a critical injury. While defending a Fabian Herbers cross in the 77th minute, the midfielder lifted his left leg off the ground and screamed for help. He then fell on his back, grabbing his left ankle/heel.

The replay seemed to show Stroud’s angle turning in the opposite direction of his body as he made a sliding challenge. While the player refused to be stretched off, he could not put weight on his foot and needed to be helped off.

There has been no official word on the injuries to either Stroud or Ngoma. However, head coach Sandro Schwarz said after the game that Stroud’s injury did not look good.

Stroud was recently asked about his season so far by Michael Lewis of Front Row Soccer. The 21-year-old said he wanted more from himself and his performances.

“The first thing that comes to mind is just not satisfied,” Stroud said last Thursday during a press conference. “Obviously, I want to keep taking steps forward. This year, we’re getting some really good results, and the team is starting to come together in ways that are paying off.

“For me, it’s about just (about) pushing to keep getting better. We’re only sending seven games in. It’s not even halfway through yet. We’re not even really that close. It’s just about trying to keep the standards, keep pushing, keep learning every single game, every single chance I get to play. But we still have a long way to go. Not getting too far ahead of ourselves is the most important thing right now.”

To cap off the weekend of injuries, Sunday saw New York Red Bulls II take on Chicago Fire II in MLS NEXT Pro. In the first half, forward Roald Mitchell scored four goals in what was looking like a career-defining game for the first team player. 

Starting in the 4th minute, defender Jair Collahuazo played a long ball from midfield to Mitchell, who chipped the goalkeeper to open the match’s scoring. He struck again in the 10th minute, converting a penalty to double his team’s lead. In the 18th minute, he converted yet another penalty to earn his first professional hat trick. It was also the fastest hat-trick in MLS NEXT Pro history. Mitchell got a fourth just before halftime, tying a club record with four goals in a single match.

However, the day did not end well for the Montclair, NJ native. While looking for a fifth goal in the second half, Mitchell went down in the Chicago box. It appeared to be a non-contact injury and he had to be helped off the pitch by two trainers.

Like the other two injuries, there has been no official update on his condition. New York went on to lose its lead and needed to beat Chicago via penalty kicks.

Mitchell has appeared on the RBNY bench seven times this season in MLS, including on Saturday against the Fire.
He was subbed on twice, first in the season opener against Nashville SC and later in his team’s 4-0 win over Inter Miami CF.

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