HARRISON, N.J. – Rafa Márquez has been a sporadic figure in the New York Red Bulls lineup this season due to a combination of suspensions and injuries. And he is set to miss yet another game for the club.
Márquez will not travel with the Red Bulls for their match at BMO Field against Toronto FC on Saturday (7 pm ET, Galavision) due to a calf injury he picked up in last Sunday’s win over D.C. United. However, he did train with the team on Friday afternoon inside of a scorching Red Bull Arena.
”He is not 100 percent, so he will not be available,” head coach Hans Backe told MLSsoccer.com.
The 33-year-old Mexican international has had trouble staying on the field this season, playing in just seven of the club’s 16 league matches. The Red Bulls, who are tied for first place in the Eastern Conference with United, are unbeaten this season at 5-0-2 when Márquez plays.
Conde to travel, not guaranteed to start
Wilman Conde is still dealing with the groin injury he picked up last week, but that has not ruled him out of Saturday’s clash with Toronto. At least not yet.
“He will travel and then [we] take a decision tomorrow,” said Backe.
The Colombian center back took part in the team’s training drills on Friday morning and afterwards did core exercises with a trainer.
Holgersson out longer
Center back Markus Holgersson is still nursing the ankle knock he sustained late in last Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps, and he is unlikely to suit up for New York’s July 8 battle with the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
“He will be out probably even the next week,” said Backe. “I don’t think he’ll be available for the New England game, probably not.”
Rodgers decision to come soon
The seemingly never-ending Luke Rodgers saga will be coming to a close soon.
Backe stated the Red Bulls will make a decision as to whether or not Rodgers can rejoin the club this weekend despite not yet hearing back about the forward’s visa status.
“We just need to take a decision quite soon now, because if we don’t get any answers, we can’t wait until mid-July or something like that to find an alternative,” said Backe.
The Red Bulls head coach said earlier this week that the club does not have a list of alternative forwards from abroad in case things with Rodgers do not work out, stating that a trade within MLS would most likely be the avenue they take to bolster their depth up top.
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.