After suffering two straight season-ending injuries, New York Red Bulls midfielder Florian Valot is finding the net once again.
The New York Red Bulls might not need to invest in a new No. 9—as some of their supporters have been suggesting—because it looks like Florian Valot has a few goals stored up in his boots. Valot warned that people should not underestimate him despite his recent unlucky injury streak.
The French midfielder suffered a torn left ACL in July 2018, which required surgery and subsequently ended his season. In 2019, he tore his right ACL in the third week of the season and missed the remainder of the campaign. That’s when Valot vowed to return even stronger.
“Road to recovery starts now. You guys can’t get rid of me that easily and I’ll be back stronger,” he wrote on his Instagram page.
After returning to action, Valot was on target once in each of New York’s preseason encounters so far. He first netted against Atlanta United in a scrimmage at IMG Academy in a 2-1 loss on Jan. 24.
The 26-year-old was on the scoresheet again in a friendly match against D.C. United on Saturday. RBNY blanked D.C., 3-0. Daniel Royer and Tom Barlow scored the other two goals.
The Red Bulls were quiet during the offseason when it came to signing players. They only brought in two key players, goalkeeper David Jensen and right back Mandela Egbo. The club’s head coach, Chris Armas, believes Valot’s return feels like a brand-new signing.
“He was training with us regularly at the end of 2019, and now he looks stronger than even then because he’s had a productive offseason,” Armas told Pro Soccer USA reporter Dylan Butler. “What we see now from ‘Flo’ is a really exciting player. It feels like a new signing.”
Prior to Valot’s injury in 2018, he was a starter, scored three goals, and tallied five assists in 14 appearances.
If the midfielder can continue his preseason success during the regular season, he would fill the void left by the quiet offseason. Not only that, he would go down as one of the franchise’s most incredible examples of perseverance.