New York Red Bulls newcomers Saer Sene, Damien Perrinelle could debut during busy stretch ahead
A draining four-day stretch awaits the New York Red Bulls, but the club has received some timely help to bolster its depth ahead of that busy part of the schedule.
New York host the Montreal Impact in an Eastern Conference tilt on Saturday (7 pm ET, MLS LIVE) before opening their CONCACAF Champions League campaign against visiting CD FAS on Tuesday 8 pm ET, Fox Sports 2), and both Sene and Perrinelle could make their debuts during a span that will test the Red Bulls mentally and physically.
Neither seems likely to start on Saturday against the last-placed team in the Eastern Conference, not when forwards Thierry Henry and Bradley Wright-Phillips are healthy and center back options are as deep as they have been in a couple of weeks.
But it appears that Sene – who was traded from New England to New York last week – has a better chance to make a cameo off the bench against Montreal, especially since there is only one other bench option in Peguy Luyindula capable of playing up top.
“He’s a professional soccer player, so if we needed him to play tomorrow I’m sure he could play,” said Petke when asked how close the 27-year-old Sene was to contributing. “He just has to get acclimated both mentally and physically. As far as positional-wise, I look at him as a forward that can also have the option to play out wide.
“But we have not hit that stage yet … we haven’t really done much positional stuff as opposed to just playing possession and small-sided to goal. But moving on, we will look at him at both of those positions.”
Perrinelle, meanwhile, looks to have more of a shot at making his debut in the CONCACAF Champions League bout. The 30-year-old defender’s paperwork has been completed and his conditioning has improved to the point where he is in contention to start, but he will have to beat out the likes of Matt Miazga and Armando in order to get the nod vs. FAS.
“Damien’s a player with a great attitude and a good physical presence,” said Petke. ”He’s good with the ball at his feet, so he’s looked fine.
“The interesting thing is that we have five center backs, so it’s definitely going to be a very competitive environment from that position standpoint throughout the week and every week into a game. But, as far as legally, he’s available and ready to go.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by email at Franco8813@gmail.com.