Despite short week, Henry looks OK to start at DC
It was jovial, upbeat stuff from the Red Bulls while training at Montclair State University on Monday, a confident bunch coming off Saturday’s 3-0 home win over San Jose. The good news continued for New York on Monday as forward Thierry Henry was out training with the Red Bulls reserves with no sign of being limited by a chronic Achilles injury.
“The reaction from the Saturday game seems to be OK,” head coach Hans Backe said. “Seeing him on the pitch [today] means he’s OK.”
Ten days ago, Henry suffered an Achilles injury that shelved him for much of last week during training. But the striker recovered to put in his best performance for the Red Bulls this past weekend, scoring and assisting in Saturday night’s rout of the Earthquakes.
Last week, Backe said he’d consider resting Henry if the Achilles continued to bother his star striker as the Red Bulls entered a shortened week. But Backe's fears seem to have been allayed as New York prepare for Thursday's nationally televised match at D.C. United.
“Absolutely, he felt fresh,” Backe said, adding that he plans to start Henry at RFK Stadium. “No problem with the Achilles.”
Lindpere’s knee: It was a rarity to see Joel Lindpere subbed out of Saturday’s match as the Estonian winger is somewhat of an iron man for the Red Bulls. Lindpere, however, limped straight off the field and went immediately to the locker room before the final whistle against the Earthquakes.
The 29-year-old had his knee drained last week after suffering an injury during preseason training and thinks an infection may have developed after the draining. Lindpere had a MRI on Monday morning and will learn the results on Wednesday. Like Henry, Backe anticipates Lindpere being ready to play.
“I think we can manage [him in] the game on Thursday,” Backe said.
This is what we want: Saturday night was clinical stuff from New York, who held possession well and scored three times in executing their attractive style of play. Former FC Barcelona midfielder and Mexican national-team captain liked the aesthetically pleasing style of his team.
“That’s exactly how we want to play,” Márquez said Monday, but warned of overconfidence. “It’s always a hard to maintain the same level week after week. And that’s what we’ll be trying to do in DC.”
Not quite Sutton time: Backe confirmed that goalkeeper Greg Sutton is back with the team and training but is not quite ready to play. The Canadian international started the season-opening win over Seattle but suffered a concussion the next week in training and has been sidelined since.
“He should be 100 percent OK,” Backe said. “Perhaps he needs more training sessions before playing.”
Sutton trained with the goalkeepers on Monday during a session with coach Todd Hoffard that was high-paced and focused intensely on footwork. He looked sharp in the finishing drills at the end of the session.
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer