clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Steele? Duvall? Lade? Saturday a depth test for the Red Bulls

There are plenty of questions to be answered when the Red Bulls take on Toronto FC tomorrow.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

We already knew Tim Cahill and Roy Miller were out.

The two are with Australia and Costa Rica respectively, preparing for the World Cup.

Couple that with last weekend's abysmal performance against the Chicago Fire and it was a known unknown that changes would be made: We knew they were coming, just not what those changes would be.

Slotting Peguy Luyindula in Cahill's spot would be an obvious fix, but it doesn't appear the French playmaker will be making the trip after picking up an injury in training. Plan C would be sliding Eric Alexander from left midfield into central midfield and inserting Jonny Steele on the left, but with Alexander performing much better on the wing than in the middle, one would imagine if there's a Plan D involving Ruben Bover or Michael Bustamante, who performed admirably in a pinch last season.

Miller's absence raises an even bigger problem for the Red Bulls and Head Coach Mike Petke is playing it close to the vest, making the same old points about competition for spots. He said of the right back position...

"To me, there are three players competing for that spot; Chris Duvall, Richard Eckersley and Kosuke Kimura," the Red Bull boss explains. "Let's make one thing clear; 90% of our team had a rough one this weekend. It doesn't just come down to Kosuke. Obviously, he had a hand in one of the goals, but it was an anomaly.

"It's not just Kosuke. We have young Chris Duvall who continues to impress us week in and week out. He is not far out. Kosuke has had some good performances. This one, it wasn't like he was the only one that had some moments this game. Everybody did."

So if Kimura sits, or is moved to the left back spot, it's possible Chris Duvall, a speedy rookie who can hit a solid cross, could fill in there. If he doesn't switch sides, that leaves Bobby Convey and Connor Lade as possible starters.

So Steele? Bover? Bustamante? Duvall? Lade? Seemingly all possibilities for tomorrow.

With the World Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League, everyone knew the Red Bulls' depth would be tested. And it's time to see if they can pass.