July 13, 2012
Henry, Marquez, Holgersson train with Red Bulls, expecting to play Sunday
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Thierry Henry trained with the Red Bulls as he is expected to play vs. Seattle on Sunday.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Heading into a busy stretch of three games in seven days, the Red Bulls are eyeing perhaps a deeper and healthier team for what will likely be their most grueling stretch of the season.
Despite a limited squad that took to the field on Friday morning at Montclair State University, Red Bulls coach Hans Backe was hopeful that he would have a few more regulars available then the shorthanded squad that traveled to New England last week.
Backe only ruled Jan Gunnar Solli, Heath Pearce and Teemu Tainio from the match against Seattle. Designated players Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez along with the recently injured Markus Holgersson did train with the Red Bulls in anticipation of Sunday’s clash with Seattle.
The return of Henry and Marquez is a definitely lift for New York and when asked if they can play the full match this weekend, Backe was optimistic.
“I would guess, I would guess definitely,” Backe said. “I’m not sure they can do three games in a week 90.”
Henry, who has been plagued with calf and hamstring injuries, did not participate in last Sunday’s 2-0 loss at the Revolution. It was a move he said to avoid the artificial surface of Gillette Stadium, which can be unforgiving to players coming off injuries.
The impact of a plastic pitch is something that will give him pause not just once or twice he said.
“More than twice," Henry said. "Being honest, that is the worst thing for any athlete, playing on turf. No disrespect to the guys playing in the NFL and all that. They’re on the field what, one or two seconds for a play? We run on that for one and a half hours.
“That’s not an easy one. Coming back from an injury, that’s not what you want to do. That’s more of a precaution thing than anything else.”
Friday was a regeneration session for the Red Bulls, with a number of possible starting players not participating in training and instead being involved in gym work, stretching and massage. Even Saturday’s session might be more low key than expected before a game.
“I will see now, it’s a tough stretch that’s for sure, a big week, three home games," Backe said. "We had more of a treatment session, some guys getting massage, some guys getting individual work. We’ll do it very soft tomorrow because we trained quite OK at the beginning of the week. Next week you almost can’t do [anything]. It’s only ‘regen’ in between the games. Soft tomorrow and hope we’re ready then."
In fact, the team’s final session before hosting the Sounders will likely look like a walk-through.
“We’ve done it so much, you can do some tactical stuff – you can walk thru," Backe said. "That’s a possibility to go walk thru the defending, attacking game. The weather forecast will be around 96, that will be tough.”