When senior midfielder and team captain David McGill went down late in the second half Sunday night against LMU, it was immediately apparent that Gauchos would have a serious void in the field for a decent extent.
McGill will miss anywhere from three to five weeks with a high ankle sprain that sent chills down the spine of everyone in Harder Stadium.
“He was just in a lot of pain, but he’s doing well now,” junior goalkeeper Danny Kennedy said. “He’s getting treatment now and hopefully he’ll be back in no time.”
“It’s not easy for a soccer player like David to have to sit out,” Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg said. “It’s what he thinks about and what he dreams about. It’ll be a wait-and-see game.”
McGill, who finished fifth in the nation last year in assists and currently is averaging 0.71 assists per game, needless to say, will be missed greatly. The Gauchos have not settled on a replacement just yet, but are leaning towards sophomore Bryan Byrne.
“We’re going to have to make a few adjustments,” Vom Steeg said. “Byrne is the most likely player to step in, but we also may change our rotation.”
If McGill were just to miss three weeks, UCSB would be without their captain for six games, five of which are Big West opponents. In the meantime, McGill will do what he can from the sideline.
“Being injured, it’s tough, but I still want to be a part of this, being a captain and all,” McGill said in a telephone interview while on his way to practice via crutches. “I’m mobile, so I’ll be going out to practice, trying to help coach the lads.
“Everyone’s been very great about it. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing with people asking how I’m doing.”
The Gauchos will also be without Tony Lochhead this weekend against New Mexico as the junior defender has been called up to New Zealand National Team and will be in Iran this weekend.