July 12, 2011
ALBRIGHT'S ALL RIGHT
Right fullback plays an hour in rout
BRIDGEVIEW, ILL. -- If there was a bright spot for the Red Bulls in their 4-0 elimination loss to the Chicago Fire in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup, it had to be the fact that right fullback Chris Albright played an hour in his return from a knee injury.
That was longer than the Red Bulls coaching staff thought he would play in the quarterfinal encounter.
ďChris went 15 minutes longer than we thought he was going to go, so thatís very positive," said assistant coach Mike Petke, who directed the team with Hans Backe remaining in New Jersey.
Petke said he decided to pull the veteran defender for Marcos Paullo in the 60th minute after he fell.
"It wasnít a situation where heís asking to come out," he said. "It was a situation where he went down and I wasnít sure what happened when he fell down, was nervous a little bit and took him out. I think he served his purpose and got some good minutes in, got some fitness back. Heís going to help us big time in the push for the playoffs, filling in or starting, whatever he chooses to do.Ē
Or whatever Backe chooses to do.
The game was Albright's first Red Bulls appearance in two months, since the 1-0 exhibition loss on May 12.
ďI felt good," he said. "Just trying to get back into the swing of things. First match in a while. You canít mimic that sort of fitness. So it was a good run, a good test.Ē
Albright was one of a handful of veterans in the Red Bulls' lineup along with goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul and midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy.
So, the rest of the team went to school against the Fire, which taught New York or lesson or two.
ďItís unfortunate because I donít think it was a four-nil game.," Albright said. "The two set pieces we didnít deal with well in the beginning of the second half but we knocked the ball around pretty well in the first half. The final pass wasnít there.
"There was a lot of good stuff possession wise from the midfield and I thought our organization was pretty good. When youíre facing a team thatís more organized, itís difficult. They also had a lot more experience but with that being said, the young guys did great, the work rate was there all game, but those mistakes will hopefully be eradicated over time.Ē