September 19, 2012
RED BULLS NOTEBOOK
Backe: Leite doesn't need much conditioning
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. -- One reason why the Red Bulls signed center back Rodrgio Leite to a contract for the rest of the Major League Soccer season was the fact he was relatively fit.
|Rodrigo Leite is in good shape and can play when his paperwork goes through, Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said.
Photo by Kristian R. Dyer
Also known as Dig„o, the younger brother of Real Madrid midfielder Kaka signed with the Major League Soccer club last week. He still is waiting for his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate before he can suit up and play.
"He looks good," coach Hans Backe said on Tuesday. "We have tested him. I would say that he should be ready to play if we want. We expect when we sign a guys when you have seven games to go, we need a guy [to play]. You can't take time, a couple of months, to get him fit. It has to be a guy that very soon can help you."
Backe has liked what he has seen from Leite in practice.
"He has been doing well," he said. "He has been here for a couple of weeks. He has been solid, is a good center back, strong in the air, is strong, is a big boy and also very composed. I don't know yet when we get the paperwork down and his license, but he has done well."
Backe has some respect for Kansas City.
"It's always been physical games against Kansas, tough games and honest games at the same time," he said. "They have a couple of players that can make a difference. I think set plays are one thing we need to be very, very sharp. They also have a good balance because of [Roger] Espinoza, [Grahame] Zusi, who are creative enough for the front three guys. I think it's a lot about how we defend, how we close down the middle so they cannot go for the final passes."
The Red Bulls enter the match just about fully healthy. Left back Roy Miller has a groin injury and rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara is sidelined for the rest of the season after hip surger.
Wilman Conde, who left Saturday's game with Columbus, battered, is "OK," Backe said.
"He trained full session today," Backe said. "No problem.
"It's finger crossed. It's only Roy Miller the only one injured. Otherwise we have a very fresh roster. It's so competitve now. You have to fight to play on the team. It's getting close to the playoffs. It's very important to have."
A rare occurence
The Red Bulls failed to put a single shot on net in their 1-1 draw with Kansas City on Aug. 26 as KC's Kei Kamara scored an own goal for the visitors.
"We drew without having a shot on target," Red Bulls captain Thierry said. "That's got to be one of the first time in the history of the game."
Midfielder Joel Lindpere enters the match needing a yellow card to force him to miss a game with a one-game suspension.