Not only do the injury-laden Red Bulls have to play three games in seven days, but they have to play all three games in the middle of July in New York heat, with the middle game against the Chicago Fire scheduled as a ridiculous matinee that likely will be remembered for dismal attendance, not the result.
The latter gripe aside, the first two points force the Red Bulls into an interesting personnel situation this week, only exacerbated by the fact Hans Backe used one sub -- in the 21st minute no less -- in Sunday's 2-2 draw against the Seattle Sounders.
So who's out tomorrow?
Brian Lewis at the New York Post is reporting Rafael Marquez, who came off Sunday for Wilman Conde, is unavailable, along with Jan Gunnar Solli and Heath Pearce, both of whom trained today. Pearce, Backe told the media, should be available this weekend. Teemu Tainio, whose career was threatened by injury earlier this season, started training today, along with forward Jose Angulo. Neither will be available tomorrow, but their presence at practice does bode well for the team's depth moving forward.
MLSsoccer.com's Franco Panzio is reporting Bill Gaudette, who performed pretty well in his Red Bulls debut Sunday, will get the nod again and that he will likely play Saturday against the Philadelphia Union, as well. Ryan Meara did not practice.
Questions still remain about Thierry Henry, who last week expressed concerns about the team's tight schedule. Lewis reports Henry's status is uncertain, but Panzio reports that he'll play, quoting Backe as telling the media...
"He felt quite OK after the [Sounders] game and he hasn't been playing that many games the last six weeks probably so he needs minutes," Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe told reporters on Tuesday morning. "He feels he'll definitely be available for the game tomorrow."