photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
The New York Red Bulls might be severely shorthanded this weekend.
Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said in his weekly conference call on Tuesday that midfielder Tim Cahill and right back Richard Eckersley will both miss this Saturday’s road game vs. the Montreal Impact because of injuries.
Cahill and Eckersley both sustained first-half knocks in last Sunday’s 1-1 draw vs. Chivas USA, and had to be removed prior to halftime. Cahill suffered a right hamstring strain and Eckersley a right ankle sprain.
“Cahill is most likely ruled out this weekend,” said Petke. “What we’re looking at is a mild hamstring strain. I would hope to have him back in two weeks, but for now it seems that he will be out this weekend with a hamstring strain. … Eckersley is out. He’s definitely out.”
Eckersley could miss about a month’s worth of games because of his injury, and Petke said the club is planning to gauge the right back’s health on a week-to-week basis.
The injuries come at a very inopportune time for the Red Bulls, who are set to play on the turf surface at Olympic Stadium rather than the grass field at Stade Saputo this weekend.
That means it is likely that starters Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave will sit out this Saturday’s match to avoid playing on the artificial pitch, further depleting Petke’s side as it looks for its first win of the season.
Petke would not rule the two out just yet, though.
“It’s Tuesday of the week before the game so I’m not going to make any bold statements yes or no,” said Petke. “We traditionally know what goes on with these games. However, there’s always that chance, there’s always the situation that we have a conversation and decide that it’s a go on this turf. I’m not ready to make any statement right now, but there’s always a chance.
“Having said that, we have what I think is a deep roster. I have total confidence in whoeever jumps in if (Henry and Olave) are not going to go. We’ve had success before in Montreal and that’s what we’re looking to do this time.”
Petke added that right back Kosuke Kimura is good to go for the trip to Montreal. Kimura suffered a slight ankle injury after coming off the bench to replace Eckersley against Chivas USA.
What do you think of Cahill and Eckersley being out this weekend? Think Henry and Olave sit this one out? What should New York’s starting XI look like vs. the Impact?
Share your thoughts below.