HARRISON, N.J. — New York Red Bulls star midfielder Lewis Morgan will be unavailable for Saturday’s match against Lionel Messi and Inter Miami after suffering a setback while recovering from a hip injury, a source confirmed with amNewYork.
Red Bulls head coach Troy Lesesne passed comment following his team’s 1-0 win over DC United on Sunday night that Morgan “is going to be out for a little bit of time,” but did not delve into specifics on the issue.
Morgan, who has been dealing with the hip issue since early June, returned to training in late July and even came off the bench to take a penalty during the Red Bulls’ quarterfinal loss to the Philadelphia Union in Leagues Cup action on Aug. 8. The development initially built a belief that he would be back for the massive Aug. 26 clash at Red Bull Arena against Inter Miami, where Messi will be making his MLS debut after scoring 10 goals in seven matches for his new side on its way to a Leagues Cup championship.
But the setback suffered last week, the source told amNewYork, all but eliminates such a hope that the Red Bulls would have their leading scorer from last year — who found the back of the net 14 times — in the fold to try and keep up with Inter Miami’s firepower.
“He’s our top goal scorer last year and makes a serious impact on our team not only for goals but his presence on the team,” Lesesne said on Sunday night. “If most teams lose their top scorer that’s devastating.”
But New York has managed to stay afloat without Morgan despite struggling mightily to generate much offense without him. After parting ways with head coach Gerhard Struber in May, the Lesesne-led Red Bulls are 9-5-5 in their last 19 matches in all competitions and sit just three points out of ninth place in the Eastern Conference, which is the final Wild Card playoff spot up for grabs.