The Israeli Premier League has been suspended, and UEFA-sanctioned matches in Israel have been halted indefinitely, due to the ongoing war the country has been waging since the horrific Hamas attacks on October 7.
Despite Segal’s Hapoel Tel Aviv loan announced as running through June 30, 2024, NYCFC says the clubs found mutual consent to terminate the loan, and that the 22-year-old forward from Bethesda, Md. has been back in training since New York City’s 2023 MLS season ended.
Segal gave a quote to Hapoel Tel Aviv’s website addressing his unexpectedly early departure from the team, saying “My heart is broken by the terrible events that took place in Israel and I am very sad that I will not be able to return to Tel Aviv and join my friends again. I want to send my sincere condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy – and especially to my friends at Hapoel Tel Aviv and the amazing fans who welcomed me with open arms.”
This isn’t the first bit of NYCFC offseason news for Segal, who also had his 2024 contract option exercised by the team when it announced its wave of end-of-season roster decisions.
Might the striker, who scored two clutch equalizers to salvage draws this season, make a quick return to action for NYCFC? After all, this Friday night the club plays the made-for-AppleTV “Noche d’Or” friendly with Inter Miami CF in celebration of Lionel Messi and his eight Ballon d’Or trophies.
It’s unclear who will actually play in the big Messi friendly—25 players are listed by the club as being under contract for 2024, Segal included, but Andrés Perea is also technically still on loan from Philadelphia Union through December 31, and was confirmed this week to still be with NYCFC.
For Segal it also would seem unclear if he’s really in NYCFC’s plans for 2024. He was already sent out on an extended loan with the arrival of Mounsef Bakrar, and it will be worth watching to see if he’s headed elsewhere to find more playing time when the calendar flips to 2024.