August 10, 2012
By Kristian Dyer
Tainio ready to contribute for Red Bulls
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
HARRISON, N.J. – It was just 11 minutes on the field, but they were important. For the first time all season, Red Bulls midfielder Teemu Tainio made a third straight appearance for the club, coming off the bench against the Houston Dynamo on Friday night.
|Friday night’s cameo against Houston marked the third straight game that Teemu Tainio and his newly-healed knee took the field for the New York Red Bulls.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
With 45 minutes two weeks ago against Tottenham in the Barclays New York Challenge, and then last week playing the entire first half at Houston, Tainio is getting back to health. A knee injury has sidelined him for much of the season, limiting him to just four appearances in a frustrating 2012. But in his fifth match of the year, Tainio came into the game with his team clinging to a 1-0 lead and he just wanted to help them get the much-needed three points.
“It’s never easy to come in the last 15 minutes, but obviously we were 1-0 up and my job was to clean things up in the middle. Then we scored the second goal,” Tainio told BigAppleSoccer.com.
It was a big win for New York, given the disappointment of the 2-0 loss in Houston last week.
“I told you in the middle of the week we’d be a different team. If we keep playing like this – wow, we will be tough.”
Earlier this week, Tainio said that his knee feels the best it has since he was “five years old.” With the cameo on Friday night, Tainio is eyeing getting more fit this week with a Sunday match against Portland next on the schedule.
“First game [against Tottenham] I felt better and then the Houston game, I played 45 minutes and was feeling terribly. I don’t know what it was but now I’ve got 10 days to practice and get better, more fit.” Tainio said.
Even being left out of the Starting XI on Friday night after starting in Houston last week wasn’t a surprise to the former Finnish international.
“It was the coach’s decision and I sort of expected it. Everyone else is fit and ready. I’ve got 10 days now to get fit.”