The New York Red Bulls left Sunday's game against D.C. United with one more point to add to their season's tally in MLS, a lot of frustration, and three injury concerns.
Two of those injury problems were revealed before kick-off.
Omer Damari will not feature in today's 18. Out with a groin injury. #RBNY #NYvDC— Eric Giacometti (@Eric_Giacometti) September 11, 2016
For those asking, #RBNY captain Dax McCarty missed training on Friday, will not take part today. #NYvDC— Eric Giacometti (@Eric_Giacometti) September 11, 2016
Oh and oh.
For Damari, injury is arguably what derailed him at RBs Leipzig and Salzburg. He doesn't have a great many games to make an impact at RBNY, and this injury might have robbed him of a start in MLS.
For McCarty, it is unfortunate timing: he had just returned from serious injury and was working his way back to peak fitness. He too is reported to have suffered a groin strain.
In the fifth minute of the DC match, Ronald Zubar pulled up and had to be extracted from the game. He had - you guessed it - a groin injury.
Coach Jesse Marsch noted in his post-match comments that the trend will need to investigated.
We've had a few groin injuries this week, so we have to look at what we're doing, what we can do better.
The trio of injuries is at least spread evenly across the RBNY squad. Damari is a forward, McCarty a midfielder, Zubar a center back. "Crisis" really only applies when one or more positions on the field can no longer adequately be filled because of injury.
For the moment, the Red Bulls look capable of weathering this storm.
Damari is an option to back-up Bradley Wright-Phillips - who is in top form at the moment - or challenge for one of the three other attacking roles in the starting lineup. But he is too recent an acquisition to have established a significant enough role to be missed. His injury affects him more than the squad.
McCarty is club captain and a key player in midfield, but his prior absence has seen Sean Davis demonstrate his starting-caliber ability. The Davis-Felipe central midfield pairing can and does win games. McCarty is missed, but there is proven cover in the squad.
Zubar had recently emerged as one half of the reliable center-back pair RBNY has been seeking all season. His partnership with Aurelien Collin has been the team's most effective this year. But Damien Perrinelle proved himself last season, as one half of the partnership (the other being Matt Miazga) that anchored the Red Bulls' Shield-winning back line.
The question will be how long these injuries keep the players out of the lineup, and whether the squad might have to compensate for their absence for the remainder of its CONCACAF Champions League group stage games. That question will surely be asked when RBNY returns to training on Tuesday.