The San Jose Earthquakes roster depth took a hit Monday when the team announced that Mehdi Ballouchy suffered a torn left ACL in Saturday’s 3-3 draw against FC Dallas and would miss the rest of the season following surgery scheduled for later this week.
The Moroccan midfielder, who joined San Jose via a midsummer trade with the New York Red Bulls, suffered the injury early in the second half of Saturday’s match when he landed awkwardly on the Buck Shaw Stadium turf attempting to make an acrobatic defensive clearance. When his right foot slipped on the grass, his full weight appeared to cause his left knee to buckle outward. MRI results confirmed that what head coach Frank Yallop called "a bit of a pop in his knee" was indeed a serious ligament injury.
“The news was very disappointing,” said Yallop in a club statement. “Mehdi was just settling in with our squad and was playing very well for us. He’ll be missed, but we know that he’ll be back stronger than ever next season.”
Ballouchy had played admirably in place of injured wingers Marvin Chavez and Shea Salinas over the past month, when he appeared in the last six Earthquakes matches and started the last four. His availability had allowed both Chavez and Salinas time to get healthy, and both were able to take the field against FC Dallas Saturday night.