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Red Bulls midfielder Seth Stammler’s season is over.
The versatile midfielder underwent knee surgery on Thursday to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The surgery will force Stammler to miss the rest of the season, sources told SBI on Thursday.
While it remains unclear just when Stammler incurred the torn meniscus, sources have told SBI that Stammler played several games with the injury. The injury proved too much in the regular season finale against the Chicago Fire, which he was forced to leave at halftime.
Stammler’s injury will make Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio’s decisions that much tougher as he prepares for the Red Bulls playoff opener against Houston on Saturday.
Without Stammler, Osorio will have to seriously consider starting Argentine midfielder Juan Pietravallo, whose play has been very erratic in recent weeks. Pietravallo’s rash challenges and penchant for drawing yellow cards, and in one case a red card, made him look like a long shot to play on Saturday, but Stammler’s absence coupled with Pietravallo’s good form in past home games will make him a likely option for Osorio.
The other option is rookie Luke Sassano, who came on in the second half of the Chicago game. Sassano struggled in that appearance and could be overmatched against Houston, which would mean a match-up against MLS all-star Dwayne DeRosario.
Pietravallo enjoyed a strong performance against DeRosario in the Red Bulls 3-0 win against Houston on Aug. 24, forcing the Canadian playmaker to leave the match after 56 minutes.
Stammler’s injury adds him to a list of Red Bulls starters out for the season. Goalkeeper Jon Conway and defender Jeff Parke are out for the season while they serve 10-game suspensions for failing MLS drug tests.
What do you think of this news? Is this the final nail in the Red Bulls’ coffin? Think Pietravallo can get back to the good for he showed early on? Would you like to see Sassano given a chance? Do you believe the Red Bulls are cursed?
Share your thoughts below.