Toronto FC suffer major injury blow ahead of MLS tournament

Toronto FC confirms Ifunanyachi Achara has suffered a knee injury and will miss the remainder of the 2020 MLS season.

It’s fair to say Toronto FC’s preparations for the MLS tournament in Orlando have been slightly chaotic. As we previously noted, they have delayed their trip to Florida after a member of their travel partner advised they were suffering with COVID-19 symptoms.

As a result, the entire travel party is undergoing another round of testing and will not leave Toronto until the results are received. However, this isn’t the only news unsettling the club’s plans for the resumption of the 2020 campaign.

As reported by James Grossi of torontofc.ca, one player who definitely won’t be accompanying the club to Orlando, is Ifunanyachi Achara. That’s because the forward has suffered a season-ending knee injury.

The injury happened after Achara got tangled up with a teammate during a training match. While the 2020 first round MLS draft pick has only been with TFC a short time, he has already made an excellent impression.

Achara displaying his potential during preseason and announced his arrival by scoring on his MLS regular season goal. It proved to be the game-winner in the Reds’ home opener, thus endearing him almost immediately to the fan base.

Everyone at the club has been impressed with Achara’s work ethic and commitment. He has also helped boost the locker room with his affable personality.

Understandably, head coach Greg Vanney is frustrated and saddened to lose a player who has quickly become an important part of the roster. As per Grossi, Vanney said:

“Very unfortunate news. First and foremost he’s a great kid, a good person. It’s been a pleasure having in our team. He’s been great since the day he arrived.

“He’s a potential starter every day. He’s done well, scored in almost every single game – preseason and the game that he played against New York.”

Vanney went on to say the club were looking for ways to take advantage of Achara’s versatility and deploy him in different roles. This will now obviously have to be put on the back-burner, while the 22-year-old recovers from his knee injury.

Long-term, Achara is still someone who has the ability to do big things in Southern Ontario. He has had an efficient scoring rate wherever he’s been, as evidenced by a combined 17 goals in 27 appearances for USL clubs GPS Portland Phoenix and Black Rock FC.

The only reason for any concern is that Achara has a history of injury struggles, particularly during his college career at Georgetown University. He was forced to miss significant matches in each of his four seasons with the Hoyas.

Next: Breaking down TFC's tournament group

How much do you believe the loss of Achara will impact Toronto FC this season? Further, how do you predict they will do in Orlando? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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