Josh Yaro can't shake the injury bug.
The second-year center back, who was hobbled throughout 2016 with various injuries, will begin 2017 on the shelf. Yaro is set to miss three to four months after undergoing surgery to repair a labral tear suffered in Union preseason training in Clearwater, Florida.
"Josh came into preseason very fit and sharp," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "This setback is tough, but the right thing to do was to be proactive and surgery to repair the shoulder is what's best for Josh long term."
While it's a tough hit for the Union, who had high expectations for the former 2016 second-overall pick, the club has coverage. In January, the Union inked veteran center back and former U.S. Men's National Team player, Oguchi Onyewu. The 34-year-old will compete with second-year center back Ken Tribbett for full-time duty next to Richie Marquez.
It hasn't been a smooth professional start for 22-year-old Yaro. The athletic defender was plagued with setbacks throughout his rookie season, missing time for everything from his mother's passing to a shoulder injury and a serious concussion in early October. He finished the year with 17 starts.
"We know he will come back stronger than ever," Curtin said. "We have a very deep roster that we believe in, and we know the next man will step up in Josh's absence."