MLS’ rigid rules are at it again.
New York City FC forward David Villa missed the MLS All-Star Game against Italian side Juventus due to injury and will miss Saturday’s match against the Vancouver Whitecaps not because of the injury, but because he missed the All-Star Game.
“I don’t know exactly the rules of MLS about that,” head coach Domenec Torrent said after Wednesday’s training session. “He had to play in Atlanta, but I don’t understand this rule.”
By rule, if a player misses the All-Star Game, they’re automatically suspended from their club’s next match. Villa was forced to miss due to his continued recovery from a knee injury back on June 24 that forced him to miss the last six matches.
On the other hand, L.A. Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic is skipping the All-Star Game due to playing three games last week, according to a statement by the Galaxy.
“I understand the rule when a player doesn’t want to go play [the All-Star Game]. But everybody knows that David was injured the last six games,” Torrent added. “But, for me, David is ready. Maybe he can play 20, 30 minutes, but not the 90.”
Villa has scored eight goals in 10 starts this season before the knee injury and missed three games earlier in the season with a calf injury.
Castellanos may debut Saturday
Valentin Castellanos, NYCFC’s new 19-year-old Argentine midfielder, impressed in his first day training with the club Wednesday. He could make his debut Saturday.
“I don’t know exactly right now because it’s his first training session with the team, but he’s a young player, and the most important thing is that he has quality to play with us,” Torrent said.
Castellanos came to NYCFC on loan from Uruguayan side Club Atletico Torque.