HARRISON, N.J. – New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty has been pestering head coach Mike Petke in recent days to let him return from injury and play again, and he’s about to get his wish.
Petke told reporters following the Red Bulls’ training session at Red Bull Arena on Friday morning that McCarty will be in uniform for Saturday’s match with the New England Revolution (7:30 pm ET, MLS Live). The road game will mark the first time McCarty will be on a game-day roster since suffering a quad injury in the Red Bulls’ 4-1 win over the Revolution on April 20.
“Dax will be on the train ride today up to New England,” Petke said. “What his role will be is how the game is going type thing, so we’ll see.”
McCarty could return to action on Saturday, however, the Red Bulls will likely play without veteran starters Thierry Henry, Jámison Olave and Juninho, as expected. Petke shied away from questions about Gillette Stadium’s turf surface as the reason for the players missing the match – Henry has traditionally skipped games at Gillette – and instead cited accumulated fatigue during the Red Bulls’ recent busy stretch of matches.
“My concern is mostly about the amount of games that we’ve played and the amount of minutes that certain players have played,” Petke said. “My priority and loyalty is to the club first, so I’ll do anything I can with the best team that we can on the field and no matter who it is will be the best situation that we can go with.
Forward Péguy Luyindula will also miss Saturday’s match after suffering a left hamstring injury in the first half of New York’s 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact on Wednesday. Petke said Luyindula could miss the rest of May with the injury.
“I personally can’t see him back until after our big break in June,” Petke said. “You never know, the medical team might surprise us, work a miracle, he might surprise us with his healing, but I would not expect him back until after the break.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by e-mail at Franco8813@gmail.com.