By FRANCO PANIZO
The absence of Connor Lade from most of the New York Red Bulls’ preseason games has led to some questions about his status with the club, but head coach Mike Petke answered some of those on Monday.
Speaking to reporters via conference call, Petke touched on Lade’s lack of appearances this preseason by saying that the versatile youngster missed some time due to a head injury. Lade has made just one 24-minute appearance in New York’s four preseason games thus far.
“He had a knock of the head not long ago and obviously he came back from the concussion protocol that we have with the league and he’s been cleared,” said Petke. “He’s been back playing hard over the last couple of days, so there’s no health issues right now with Connor. He’s doing well, he’s working hard and he continues to try to vie for a spot on this team.”
Another player who missed some time recently is offseason acquisition Bobby Convey. Petke said Convey – who has played in the midfield and at fullback this preseason – is dealing with some chest pains but that they are minor ones.
“He has something going on in his chest right now. Nothing serious, nothing to be concerned (about),” said Petke. “He’s having trouble breathing, so that was the decision to give him a couple of days off to get his health back.
“We have our team doctor down here now who is speaking with him and figuring out what the best course is for him. As far as I know, he should be in partial training this afternoon and I don’t see him featuring in the game Wednesday unless he has a tremendous recovery.”
While Convey is likely not going to miss much more time, his absence from the Red Bulls’ recent preseason preparations and their upcoming Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic match versus Fluminense’s Under-23 team will put a dent in his hopes of earning a starting spot in the season opener.
New York visits the Vancouver Whitecaps on March 8, which gives Convey a short window to return to the field and get his conditioning on par with the rest of the squad.
“We’re just looking to him to get healthy, feel better and then get a good run to get his fitness back up,” said Petke.
Hoping to see more of Lade before preseason ends? What position should he be deployed at? Do you see Convey having enough time to recover and make a push for a starting spot against Vancouver?
Share your thoughts below.