We haven’t seen a lot of Christian Mafla this season, but he could be the one to step in if DeJuan Jones has to take some time off.
Saturday’s 18-minute performance against Atlanta United was Mafla’s second appearance for the New England Revolution because the 28-year-old has struggled to stay healthy. Despite this, Mafla has been a positive influence on the locker room.
“Christian’s one of the most lively, bubbly, charismatic guys in our locker room,” Brad Knighton said after the game. “Wherever the party is, that’s where he is.”
Mafla, who Knighton says is “high on life” and “quite a vivacious guy,” is now trying to make an impact on the field.
On Saturday, Mafla was asked to replace Jones after the 24-year-old was seen walking with a limp. After the game, head coach Bruce Arena said, “I don’t know where [Jones] stands right now.”
Jones has only missed one game this season, but might not be available when the Revs travel to Inter Miami CF on Wednesday. If he’s unable to play, it could be Mafla who features at left back.
This isn’t anything new for Mafla, who was a regular starter for Atlético Nacional in native Colombia. Knighton is confident that Mafla will be ready if he’s named to the starting lineup.
“He’s been unfortunate a couple of times this year,” Knighton said. “He’s worked his way back into the team and then he’s picked up a knock here and there which has kind of set him back...He’s got a lot of talent, so I know he’ll step in and do a great job whenever he’s called on.”