The New York Red Bulls announced on Tuesday that center back Damien Perrinelle will miss the rest of the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs due to a left knee injury suffered in Sunday's Eastern Conference semifinal first leg against D.C. United.
The 32-year-old French defender became a starter in his first full season in MLS, having joined the Red Bulls in the summer of 2014. A physical presence, Perrinelle tied for the second highest total in the league with 11 yellow cards in 28 appearances, but he made an undeniably positive impact on the Red Bulls' back line.
When Perrinelle and 20-year-old Homegrown player Matt Miazga started together at center back in 2015, including Sunday's win, the Red Bulls were 14-3-3; when any other combination has started, the Red Bulls are 5-7-3.
Another veteran Frenchman, 30-year-old Ronald Zubar, replaced Perrinelle on Sunday and is the most logical option to start in this Sunday's second leg at Red Bull Arena (3 pm ET; ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN). Zubar has battled injury much of the season, making just eight starts. He committed a risky foul in the 69th minute of the first leg, receiving a yellow card for a rough sliding challenge on D.C. midfielder Markus Halsti (watch Instant Replay break the play down). Canadian international Karl Ouimette is another option to slot in for Perrinelle; he made seven starts at center back during the regular season.