Charlotte FC

Charlotte FC defender Guzman Corujo out for 2022 season with ACL injury

Chris Smith
Corujo has been a key figure in CLTFC's defense.
Corujo has been a key figure in CLTFC's defense. / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte FC center-back Guzman Corujo looks set to miss the remainder of the 2022 MLS season with a right knee ACL tear, according to interim head coach Christian Lattanzio.

Corujo suffered the injury in the 31st minute of CLTFC's 3-2 defeat at home to the Chicago Fire at the weekend, with his side 2-1 down at the time.

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“He looks like he’s going to be out for the remainder of the season, unfortunately,” Lattanzio told reporters in the week.

“He still is an important part of our team, even though he will be more occupied with his recovery. We will be there for him on that side. But also, for me, he’s an important player and person to help us develop our team. We want him to still be very close to us, to help us, to look at the defensive side of the game.”

In Corujo's absence, Charlotte upon the likes of Christian Fuchs, Anton Walkes, and new signing Adilson Malanda and center-back.

How much will Corujo's injury hurt Charlotte FC?

Corujo has been a key part of Charlotte FC's inaugural roster, starting all 24 of the club's MLS matches so far this season since joining from Nacional. The 26-year-old leads his team in interceptions (40), shots blocked (21), and clearances (109), while he comes second for tackles (106), impressing so much that he's started to appear on the radar of the Uruguayan national team.

However, Corujo's importance to Charlotte FC goes well beyond his defensive effectiveness, emerging as a key leader of the team alongside captain Christian Fuchs.

Lattanzio revealed Corujo will continue to be an important member of the locker room despite being unable to take to the field.

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“Guzman is a leader of this team and a natural-born defender. You don’t find so many,” he said. “I believe Guzman is going to be a big loss for us, and that’s why we want to minimize that by keeping him involved with us, in organizing certain things, in analyzing certain things. He’s a guy who can be very important on the pitch as well as off the pitch.”

Corujo's injury comes as CLTFC are enduring a run of three defeats from their last four MLS matches. However, the expansion team remain 11th in the Easter Conference, just a single point below the Playoff line.

Up next for Charlotte FC are challenging trips to overall leaders LAFC and reigning MLS Cup champions NYCFC.