Hassani Dotson’s 2020 season appears finished unless the Minnesota United goes on a long MLS Cup playoff run.
The Loons’ central midfielder is out an estimated three to five weeks with an ankle injury suffered in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Houston Dynamo, coach Adrian Heath said Thursday. The Loons’ regular season ends Nov. 8, less than three weeks away, and a first-round playoff match for the fifth-place clubs is projected for about a week later.
“His ankle is still huge; it’s completely black and blue,” Heath said. “We’re fortunate he is a quick healer; he’s a very strong kid. … We are hopeful, but if you looked at him (Thursday), you would have to say: three weeks, five weeks. I don’t know.”
Dotson had his left leg taken out by Dynamo defender Adam Lundkvist in a late and studs-up tackle that produced on a yellow card in the ninth minute of the game. Heath felt like Lundkvist was reckless and it should have warranted the ejection that goes along with a red card.
“It might be one of the worst tackles I’ve seen since I’ve been in America,” said Heath, an Englishman who came to the U.S. in 2008.
He took issue with how the refereeing crew didn’t look at video-assistant replay of the tackle.
“This is the worry: If it’s not the referee, if it’s not the fourth official, if it’s not the linesman, who is on our side, or it’s not the VAR guy — which one of them decided it wasn’t worth another look? Heath asked.
MLS’ Disciplinary Committee is expected to make a decision soon on a potential punishment for Lundkvist.
Dotson has played 1,196 minutes across 17 games this season, including eight straight games while stepping in for captain Ozzie Alonso. Alonso replaced Dotson in Sunday’s first half after he missed seven games with a hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, Jan Gregus has returned from national team duty with Slovakia and is expected to be available in midfield this weekend against FC Cincinnati.
Reynoso and Aja had COVID-19
Star central attacking midfielder Emanuel Reynoso and backup center back Jose Aja tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 10, the club said Thursday.
Aja trained with the first team Thursday and Reynoso, who will be tested again soon, is expected to train Friday. Both could be available to play Saturday night in Cincinnati.
Reynoso and Aja’s infections caused the Loons to postpone the Oct. 11 home game at Dallas to Nov. 4, and a third false-positive test of an undisclosed player caused the Oct. 14 game against Chicago to be delayed. That date might not be possible to make up given the condensed MLS schedule.