October 1, 2012
ALL RIGHT AT RIGHT BACK
Barklage enjoys successful return in 1st start in 2 months
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Brandon Barklage: “I felt pretty good, I’m just happy we came away with the result."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
HARRISON, N.J. – In his first start since July 21, it was the same old Brandon Barklage for the Red Bulls in their 4-1 win over Toronto on Saturday night. And for Red Bulls coach Hans Backe, that can only be a good thing.
Barklage is fully recovered from the right hamstring injury that has kept him out of the Starting XI for more than two months. Last week, he pulled 11 minutes off the bench in the 1-1 tie at New England but this past Saturday represented the longest shift he has worked since July.
“I felt pretty good, I’m just happy we came away with the result,” Barklage said. “That gets us closer to making the playoffs.”
It was a solid 90 minutes at right back for Barklage, who attacked well and whose defending was very solid. Throughout the two months he was sidelined by the injury, the position as held down by rookie Connor Lade, who brought energy and a penchant for pushing forward into the attack, not unlike Barklage.
Having spent the entirety of his three previous years in MLS with D.C. United as a midfielder, Barklage acknowledged he underwent a transition to right back.
“I feel like I could improve on certain things position wise. That takes experience and a little bit more game time and it will all come together,” Barklage said.
But on Saturday night it was all about getting Barklage back on the field and in the Starting XI where he can be a big part of the team’s push for the post-season.
“It was great. It’s not about me, it’s about the team,” Barklage said. “I’m just happy to get the result tonight.”