CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho appears to have suffered an injury to his right Achilles during Sunday night’s 3-0 Western Conference Championship First Leg victory over Seattle Sounders FC.
Juninho started the match, even helping to step up the club’s first goal, but was subbed off for fellow Brazilian Marcelo Sarvas at the half. While many believed that the substitution was because of Juninho’s yellow card situation, following the game, head coach Bruce Arena confirmed that it was due to an injury.
“He took a knock and we wanted to be smart,” Bruce Arena told reporters after the game. “Marcelo is a very experienced player, a quality player and it's a luxury in that position to be able to utilize him there. Maybe if we didn't have that kind of depth we would keep him in a little longer.”
Following the match, Juninho expounded on his injury.
“I’m feeling a little bit sad, it’s my Achilles that is hurt again, it’s very hard to play a lot of games with the injury and I’m feeling it in the best part of playoffs, so it is sad,” Juninho told LA Galaxy Insider after the game. “But I have a long week off, but I hope to be better for the next game. I’m going to continue my treatment and talk with the doctors and the training staff.”
Although Juninho is still unsure of the extent of the injury, he was pleased with the club’s performance against the Sounders.
“It’s very important when you score goals and win the game,” Juninho. “It’s a comfortable lead for the next game, but Seattle has a great team and I think that the next game in Seattle will be a tough game and I hope we’ll play well again and win.”