On Tuesday, Erik Hurtado underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee at Lakewood Hospital in Lees Summit, Missouri. The Sporting Kansas City backup striker will be out for 2-3 months as he makes his recovery.
Hurtado was acquired in a trade with the Vancouver Whitecaps on December 14 in exchange for two draft picks. Sporting sent the Whitecaps their second-round pick in the 2020 Major League Soccer SuperDraft as well as their first-round pick in 2021.
The 28-year-old has yet to feature through SKC’s first four MLS matches, but has accumulated 115 minutes over three appearances in Scotiabank CONCACAF Champion’s League action. He was a part of both wins over Toluca and then made his first start in Panama as Sporting fell to CAI 2-1. Hurtado was absent from the lineup in SKC’s last two matches.
He will miss the CCL Semifinals against Monterrey in April as well as big matches against New York Red Bulls, Atlanta United, & Seattle Sounders. If we look 10 weeks ahead (based on the projected 2-3 month recovery), he could potentially make a return to the lineup for Sporting’s match at Toronto FC on June 7th. Although that is obviously far too early to tell at this point.
Peter Vermes subbed out first choice striker Krisztian Nemeth with Yohan Croizet last week in the CCL Quarterfinals when Hurtado was not available. Other options for consideration could be Daniel Salloi, Johnny Russell, youngster Tyler Freeman, or perhaps something resembling a False-9 (Zusi tried this once).
What would you like to see Vermes do with the lineup over the next few months without his normal backup striker?