2019 was supposed to be my comeback year on the field. My 2018 season had ended early with a torn ACL, just as I had secured my spot as a starter in my first full season with the Red Bulls. Unfortunately, my return to soccer in 2019 was not to be. During the second game of the season, our home opener against San Jose, I took a bad tackle in the 30th minute and felt the same pain I had suffered just a year prior, this time on my right leg. I could not believe what I was hearing when I was told I would have to miss the remainder of the 2019 season with another ACL tear. It was devastating. But having gone through it once before, I knew what it takes to get back to 100% and the support system that I had with Dr. Riley Williams and my team at HSS would help get me there.
Right away, Dr. Williams assured me that ACL surgery and reconstruction would not only allow me to come back, but come back stronger. We have had a long-standing relationship, so I knew I was in the best hands for my second surgery. I knew I could depend on him and the team at HSS to ensure that I would return to the field as quickly and safely as possible.
Weeks after surgery, I could already feel that my knee was getting stronger, thanks to the help of the Patrick Vignona and the rehab team at HSS and their state-of-the-art facility on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Dr. Williams, Patrick and the HSS staff prepared me physically and mentally throughout the whole process. I knew I had the best team around me, which allowed me to stay positive and motivated to get back on the field before the start of the 2020 season.
Walking out on the field on March 19th, 2020 for our first game of the season, nearly a year after another devastating injury, was a moment I will cherish forever. It was a long road back, but one I find pride in as I was able to play the full 90-minute game without fear or pain. I felt as healthy as ever, thanks to Dr. Williams and the rehab team at HSS. I feel lucky to have such a strong relationship with him and the team that remains to this day. While 2019 was not the comeback year I had envisioned, thanks to HSS, I am now back in the game and on the field, looking forward to 2020 and beyond.