After missing nearly two weeks of action due to a leg injury, FC Cincinnati defender Yerson Mosquera is back in action for The Orange and Blue.
The Colombian national subbed into last Saturday's match with Orlando City SC, appearing for the first time since the Leagues Cup round of 32 game with Nashville SC on August 4.
"It's very good to come back with the team," Mosquera said. "Now I just need to keep working on preparing for the next stretch of games."
The 22-year-old missed four matches in the aftermath of Leagues Cup, where he picked up a leg injury during training that kept him out of Hell is Real, the U.S. Open Cup semifinal with Inter Miami CF, and two league matches with NYCFC and Atlanta United, a stretch of play that saw The Orange and Blue go 2-1-1 without him before returning in the loss to Orlando.
While being out with an injury is frustrating, Mosquera tried to look at the larger picture and rest on his trust in his teammates to keep him at bay when rehabbing his way back into the rotation.
"It's hard to stay inside," said Mosquera, on rehabbing his injury. "I want to help the team, I want to play. But this is normal, this is football. It's hard on the life, but we have very good players, everyone has the condition to play and I have confidence in everyone. They won two very important games and everyone played great without me."
In Mosquera's return to the pitch versus Orlando, the defender was brought on as a halftime sub to reenergize the club. In his 45 minutes, he helped keep the visitors off the score sheet, completing 90.5 percent of his passes and winning four duels. His impact on the field was immediately noticeable, chasing down attackers, neutralizing chances, and being a vital player when building the offense down the left wing.
"Defensively, I thought Yerson made a couple outstanding plays in space where you can see his strengths come out," head coach Pat Noonan said of Mosquera's performance. "Not letting players get behind him, or when they are behind him, being able to recover. Good composure there, good minutes."
With a 14-day break between matches, FCC is looking to refresh and reset for the season's final seven regular season games in their quest for the Supporters’ Shield. One of the benefits the club will reap is the overall health of the group returning.
In addition to Mosquera, striker Aaron Boupendza returned to game action against Orlando after missing a midweek fixture at Atlanta due to an injury. That said, Pat Noonan mentioned the Gabon national – who now travels to Mauritania after being called up in the international window – was still slightly hampered by the injury, but insisted on playing.
Additionally, forward Dominique Badji has returned to training with the full group after a two-month hiatus with a quad injury.
FC Cincinnati will resume league play on September 16 against Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Orange and Blue return to TQL Stadium next on September 23 against Charlotte FC, marking a season-long 21 days between home fixtures.