HANOVER, N.J. – They're facing a three-day turnaround, and the New York Red Bulls are in need of some fresh legs.
Péguy Luyindula is ready to give them that.
Luyindula has been deemed healthy enough to partake in Tuesday’s road game vs. Sporting Kansas City (8 pm ET, ESPN2) after missing New York’s last two matches with a calf injury. That is more than good news for the Red Bulls, who are facing a very short turnaround after suffering a 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers this past Saturday.
“He’s ready to go, 100 percent,” Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke told MLSsoccer.com on Monday. “He’s definitely in the plans as far as what we want to do, whether that be a starting role or coming off the bench. We’re not sure yet.
“To be quite honest, we’re not sure with a lot of players because we just played and we [have to] wait to get through this practice [and] see how they feel but there could be some changes."
While Petke left the door open for Luyindula to possibly start on Tuesday at Sporting Park, the veteran Frenchman said he is still dealing with some occasional discomfort in his calf and that he is probably not yet ready to play 90 minutes.
“I don’t know if I would take the risk to play 90 minutes because I feel my calf a little weak sometimes,” Luyindula told MLSsoccer.com on Monday. “I don’t want to risk to put it out again and miss two months or more.”
Regardless of Luyindula’s role, his reintroduction into the match-day roster is a welcome development for a New York team trying to snap a three-game losing streak. The Red Bulls are 3-5-5 on the year, and currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
“Him with the ball at his feet, I think he’s one of the best in the league,” said Petke. “The more he commits to the defensive side of it, which he has, the better it is for our team. Like I said, whether it’s a starting role or [if I’m] feeling better for him to come off the bench. I’d be very surprised if you didn’t see Péguy in this game.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by email at Franco8813@gmail.com.