A dangerous, yellow-carded challenge by Houston Dynamo’s Adam Lundkvist early in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Minnesota United left Loons midfielder Hassani Dotson’s ankle still purple and swollen and coach Adrian Heath still angry on Thursday.
Heath isn’t certain, but he said Dotson could miss three weeks, five weeks or maybe longer. That could be longer than the Loons’ season lasts, depending on whether they qualify for the playoffs and how far they go.
After Sunday’s game, Heath asked whether the challenge 10 minutes into the game that bent Dotson’s ankle was a yellow or red card.
“Having seen it, it might be one of the worst tackles I’ve seen since I’ve been in America,” he said.
Heath was troubled that none of the four-person officiating crew called for the tackle to be reviewed by video replay immediately. He said an admission later from the league that the officials got it wrong doesn’t help any now.
Lundkvist on Friday was suspended two games and fined for “serious foul play” in his tackle of Dotson.
“Unfortunately, we don’t need people saying it was a mistake,” Heath said. “It was a horrific mistake. ... Which one of them decided it wasn’t worth another look? That would be the worrying aspect for me. What was it? The 10th, 12th minute of the game. Don’t tell me that doesn’t change the course of the game.”
What’s ahead for Amarilla?
Heath said the only step left with injured striker Luis Amarilla is finding a date for season-ending surgery on an ankle that has sidelined him since Sept. 2.
Amarilla is on a season’s loan from his Velez Sarsfield club in Argentina, and the Loons have an option to buy his rights when it ends. Heath said it’s too soon to know what Amarilla’s future might be.
“At the end of the day, he’s Velez’s player,” Heath said. “We saw enough early that we liked what we saw when he was fit and healthy. Now we have to revisit that and see where that leaves us for next year. It’s probably too early to make that call now.”
Back to negative
The Loons officially identified star playmaking midfielder Emanuel Reynoso and defender Jose Aja as the two players whose positive COVID tests postponed an Oct. 11 game at FC Dallas. Aja trained Thursday and Friday while Reynoso waited Friday for test results. Heath said he expects both to play Saturday at FC Cincinnati, depending on test results returned.
Neither played in last Sunday’s game. Each gave the team permission to identify them on Thursday.
Starting midfielder Jan Gregus is expected back too after missing two games while he played with his Slovakia national team overseas.
Loons defensive midfielder and captain Ozzie Alonso made his return from a monthlong hamstring injury by playing 80 minutes Sunday after Dotson was injured and left the game.
“I didn’t expect so much so soon,” he said. “I feel great. It’s hard to come back, but I’m excited to play again.”