UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. — New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Frank Rost is expected to play Saturday night at Real Salt Lake (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online), despite a curious injury suffered on the team's trans-Atlantic flight back from last weekend's Emirates Cup in London.
The long flight caused Rost's quadriceps muscle to cramp, and the 38-year-old could only laugh at the fluke injury that has sidelined him much of this week. He said the injury was not game-related, and that just “sitting in the airplane” was enough to cause the quirk in his leg.
Rost did train with the team on Friday afternoon before departing for Salt Lake City.
But count Rost among those pleased with the Red Bulls' tournament win in London last weekend. In fact, he lifted the Emirates Cup before in 2008 when he was in goal for Hamburg, the only other time Arsenal didn’t won the tournament they've hosted every year since 2007.
While it makes for fun trivia that Rost was in goal for both teams that knocked Arsenal off their preseason perch, he does see significance in the win.
“It’s good for the MLS,” Rost said. “This Emirates Cup is one of the famous preseason cups in Europe. It was a good weekend for us, for MLS.”
What was most encouraging for the Red Bulls was the strong, cohesive defensive effort of the team in their two London results. Conceding just one goal against top European competition, Rost thinks the defense showed that “it’s not so easy to score a goal against us.”
And that defensive bite could be vital for the Red Bulls on Saturday at Rio Tinto. Last year, New York were dominated by Real Salt Lake in a 2-0 loss where the hosts showed why they’re among the class of the league.
While Rost is aware of RSL’s tough form at home, he said that he isn’t intimidated and that turning around the club’s recent woes — the Red Bulls have won just once in their past nine league games — is far more important.
“For us, it’s not interesting,” Rost said. “What’s interesting to us is the three points.”
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer