New York City FC begins a tough stretch without key contributors at Yankee Stadium on Sunday when they host their former coach and an Orlando City squad that is off to a fast start.
NYCFC (3-2-1) sustained back-to-back blows within a week as forward Khiry Shelton and defender Ronald Matarrita both are expected to miss four to six weeks with injuries.
Shelton, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 MLS draft, was looking to build off his 13-goal season in 2016 before straining a hamstring in New York City's 2-0 victory over Philadelphia on April 14.
"I'm really frustrated and disappointed, because in the last two-three weeks, Khiry was really one of our best players," NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira told the team's website. "He worked really hard and did very well in training. I was looking forward to him starting one our next few games and the injury came at a bad time."
Six days after Shelton was injured, Matarrita went down with an ankle injury during Thursday's training session. The Costa Rica international has been a staple of NYCFC's defense since joining the club before last season.
Orlando City coach Jason Kreis might not be the most sympathetic opponent. Kreis was the first-ever coach of New York City FC, but was dumped after the club's inaugural MLS season. He was hired by Orlando City in July and has the Lions off to an impressive 4-1-0 start that includes a 1-0 win over NYCFC on Opening Day. >> Read more