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Pineda: Santiago Sosa out with “long range” injury

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Atlanta United will need to work around missing their most reliable midfield option

MLS: Toronto FC at Atlanta United FC Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda is yet to coach his first game, but he’s already running into selection headaches with players leaving for international duty and now what he announced as a “long range injury” to dependable midfielder Santigo Sosa.

When he was substituted out of Atlanta’s game against Toronto Wednesday, it came shortly after he had stayed down on the ground after a play. When he came to the bench, the team’s medical staff was looking at something in his upper leg (I believe it was his right leg) indicating maybe an injury to a quad, hip flexor, groin, or some combination of the three.

Sosa has been an absolute workhorse for Atlanta United this season having started every game he’s played, racking up nearly 1600 minutes so far. That means his loss is equal parts painful and predictable for Atlanta United — painful because he’s such a solid option up the spine of the team, but predictable because he plays like a maniac and it was only a matter of time before his body broke down. Remember, before this season he’d only played 900 professional minutes in his career, 497 which came last season. So this season has obviously been a huge increase in physical load on Sosa’s body. Including Emerson Hyndman, the team is now down both of its best central midfielders.

For the optimistic take, there’s perhaps a silver lining. Amar Sejdic looked capable in the position when he started against DC at less than 100% health. If the German can continue to provide those types of performances while Sosa can heal and rest before hopefully coming back into the team for the run-in to the playoffs, we could see the best version of the player when it matters most.