With four key players injured and out of the lineup, New York City Football club has turned to an unlikely hero in Libyan Winger Ismael Tajouri.
Despite injuries from David Villa, Alex Ring, Ronald Matarrita and Rodney Wallace, NYCFC has remained undefeated due to stellar play from their bench.
They largely have Ismael Tajouri to thank for that.
Tajouri, signed this past offseason from Austria Wien, scored for NYCFC at the New England Revolution, salvaging a 2-2 draw and 3-0-1 start to the 2018 season.
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson believes Tajouri is just getting started.
“He’s an unbelievable talent,” Johnson said. “I think we’re just scratching the surface of what he has and his potential as a player. He works really hard every single day, and all the guys notice that. It shows when he goes out on the field, and he’s producing at the moment which is huge for us.”
Another teammate Saad Abdul-Salaam, also starting his second game for NYCFC, agreed that Tajouri is just scratching the surface.
“Each game and each day in practice [Tajouri is] getting better and better, so I’m just happy to see him get a chance to show it,” Abdul-Salaam said.
“I’m very happy with my three goals, but I keep going,” Tajouri said. “I’m very happy with the team here and that we take the point. Of course I’m happy because I scored two goals, but more that the team played very well and it’s hard to play [at Gillette Stadium].”
The 23 year old winger also spoke of his chemistry with his new head coach Patrick Vieira.
“When I came here, I said I wanted to make the next steps because with Patrick I think I can do it,” Tabour said. “He’s a very, very good coach for young players and the old players. We have a very good team and David [Villa] and other players have been key for me here.”
Tajouri is looking ahead to NYCFC’s next match vs the San Jose Earthquakes, were he is expected to see significant playing time.