Real Salt Lake will be without first-year MLS midfielder Sunny for another extended period, it seems — he’s set for surgery after suffering an orbital bone fracture during the match against New York Red Bulls.
Craig Waibel told Salt Lake Tribune reporter Chris Kamrani that surgery was set for “midweek next week.”
Craig Waibel on Sunny: "Surgery will happen midweek next week, and from there, we’ll have a better idea of what [the timeline] is.” #RSL— Chris Kamrani (@chriskamrani) June 24, 2016
That means Real Salt Lake will be without Sunny for an extended period — and while we’re not going to start giving true estimates, I wouldn’t be surprised if he missed much of a very busy July.
Of course, that news is somewhat offset by the impending return of Kyle Beckerman, whose time at Copa America is coming to a close on Saturday. But inarguably, Real Salt Lake’s best look has been with both Beckerman and Sunny patrolling the midfield, and that won’t be the case for a while now.
Who might we see in his place? The obvious answer right now: Luke Mulholland. While he hasn’t been at his best in recent weeks, he’s been a clear favorite in the position, and he brings an excellent work-rate to the position. John Stertzer, for all his improvement, still looks best serving in the Beckerman role in a more defensively oriented role.
It could also mean a chance for Omar Holness to earn minutes off the bench — he’s been an interesting option for Real Monarchs, and while his few minutes for RSL in the U.S. Open Cup were certainly not enough to draw distinct conclusions, we have seen glimpses that give us cause for hope.
It’s a blow, certainly, for the team and for the player in equal measure. He’s been a season-changing addition, and to be without him because of an accidental collision feels rather empty.