UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls might have a French forward playing this weekend after all.
Recently signed striker Péguy Luyindula was back in training on Thursday morning and has had his visa approved, making him eligible for the Red Bulls’ road game against the undefeated Montreal Impact on Saturday (4:30 pm ET, MLS Live).
Luyindula had been in Europe the past few days sorting out the necessary paperwork, but it was surprisingly approved rapidly and the 33-year-old forward is now a serious candidate to replace injured striker Thierry Henry vs. the Impact.
“Very happy and surprised how fast it went,” Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke told reporters after Thursday’s training session. “It’s good that he’s back. We have to reevaluate his fitness level after pretty much sitting in Europe for two, three days, but he looked good today in training, he looked sharp, so he’s definitely an option for us.”
One player who did not partake in the Red Bulls’ practice session on turf fields on Thursday was center back Jámison Olave. Petke said the decision to hold out Olave was "just to not have him in training" but the Red Bulls head coach would not confirm or deny whether the hulking Colombian defender would travel to Montreal.
“You’ll know that tomorrow when we release our travel roster,” said Petke.
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by email at Franco8813@gmail.com.