The New York Red Bulls announced Tuesday that Connor Lade has torn his ACL and will be out for the remainder of the 2016 season. Lade, who was substituted in the 32nd minute of the team's game against L.A. after going down in pain, will undergo surgery later this month to repair the tear in his right knee.
In a statement from the player in response to the news, Lade said, "(T)he work has already begun to come back stronger than ever. It kills me knowing I won't be able to step on the field with my brothers for the rest of the year". You can read the full statement in the tweet below.
The 26 year-old defender has found himself having his best year since his surprising rookie season under Hans Backe, and now it looks to be unfortunately cut short. After Kemar Lawrence went down injured during the Copa America Centenario, Lade stepped into the leftback position and hadn't looked back since. While New York's defensive woes have been ever present this year, the Homegrown player's performances have been a rare bright spot. The utility player turned fullback was on his way to a career year, featuring in 20 games across all competitions, totalling 1495 minutes, while also collecting a goal and an assist.
After years of being juggled around to various positions and sitting on the bench unplayed, Lade looked to have finally carved out his role in the team. Even with Kemar Lawrence finally returning to fitness, Lade's performances looked to have won himself a key role in the starting lineup, making this injury all the more unfortunate.
Now, with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Lade will be set for a six to nine-month layoff, with his return likely sometime between February and April of next year.