The injury came after the insult for Minnesota United FC in its 6-1 home opening loss to Atlanta United FC on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium.
Starting goalkeeper John Alvbage had to leave the match on a stretcher with his left leg strapped down after an 84th-minute collision. While the injury looked pretty gnarly, the Swede was able to walk to the locker room after leaving the pitch.
“He’s got a laceration to the kneecap,” coach Adrian Heath said postmatch. “He’s with the doctors now, so I’m not quite sure if there is any damage with the cut that he’s got. And it’s a pretty bad gash. Obviously, we will have a better idea when it settles down, and we will have a look at it tomorrow when we have some sort of X-rays.”
Heath acknowledged the injury did look much worse than that but was hopeful it was only a cut and not any ligament or other structural damage.
“I think I caught him a little bit,” defender Jermaine Taylor said of how Alvbage’s injury happened. “I was actually making the transitional defending against the ball. … It looks like a cut, but it looks pretty deep.”
Defender Vadim Demidov said it was the studs on the boots that slashed Alvbage.
“I hate seeing injuries in our players or other players as well,” Demidov said. “Just hope that he’ll recover fast, and we’ll see him tomorrow.”
Jerome Thiesson, who just arrived in Minnesota from Switzerland earlier this week, made his much-anticipated debut with the team, starting at right-back while Taylor switched to left-back, pushing Justin Davis to the bench.
The defender’s addition didn’t bring about a stark improvement in back-line stability, however.
“I actually feel right now really bad and disappointed, but this is all about the result,” Thiesson said. “All the rest is just amazing. A crowd like that and weather like this, supporting and cheering all the 90 minutes even though the bad result. So all the rest will be fantastic. But at the moment, disappointment is bigger.”
While how much Thiesson would play was a bit of a question mark ahead of the match, as he had only a few days to recover from international travel and train with his new team, Thiesson said he felt “pretty good” and like he “ran a lot” in his full 90-plus minutes.