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Final

Henry likely to skip Red Bulls' USOC trip to Charleston

HARRISON, N.J. – If the New York Red Bulls are to win their first match in this year’s US Open Cup, they will probably have to do so without Thierry Henry.

The Red Bulls forward is likely to sit out when the club visits USL Pro outfit Charleston Battery in the third round of the tournament on May 29. Henry went the distance in New York’s 1-1 draw with Chivas USA on Wednesday in his first game back from a hamstring injury, but head coach Hans Backe wants to take precautionary measures with his star striker, even with the Red Bulls out of action over the weekend.

“I will probably not play him on Tuesday,” Backe told reporters after Wednesday’s game. “I don’t want to take any risks with him.”

Even though he is being cautious with Henry, Backe said the forward impressed in the draw with Chivas USA.

“A little bit of a positive surprise because he’s been out four weeks and without competitive games,” said Backe. “He was very, very close three, four times to finish the game off, so I’m happy with his performance.”

Henry’s absence further weakens the Red Bulls for the match at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C. The club is already without Rafa Márquez, Dane Richards, Joel Lindpere and Roy Miller due to national team call-ups.

It also opens the door for reserve forwards Jhonny Arteaga and Corey Hertzog to possibly get some rare minutes. Arteaga has played 16 minutes this season while Hertzog has not yet made an appearance.

Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.