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Just how shorthanded are the Red Bulls?/Just how out of favor is Connor Lade?

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The Red Bulls only had 18 guys in practice. Eighteen...

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

You want to know how much international call-ups and injuries have decimated the New York Red Bulls squad, ahead of their fixture-packed September?

Assistant Coach Robin Fraser and Reserve Head Coach John Wolyniec had to suit up just so Head Coach Mike Petke had the guys to run practice.

For those who lost count, the Red Bulls are without Ambroise Oyongo, who was called into Cameroon camp, Tim Cahill, who's with Australia, and Matt Miazga and Santiago Castano, both of whom are with the United States youth national team. Roy Miller, who was called up for Costa Rica, could leave, too, but only if Los Ticos make the finals of the Copa Centroamericana.

That's prompted Petke to consider calling Connor Lade back from his loan to the New York Cosmos. Lade has featured in two games for the NASL side, playing just shy of 90 minutes total. In his first appearance for the Cosmos, Lade separated his shoulder and was called back to the Red Bulls.

Why Lade isn't already back in camp raises another question: Just how out of favor is Lade with the Red Bulls?

He had a break-out 2012, but the transition to professional was a tough one, and he spent parts of 2013 injured. In 2014, he just hasn't been in favor.

So the Red Bulls farmed him out to Long Island, where he'd get some playing time and the Cosmos got some much-needed help. And now with just 18 guys in camp the team is only considering recalling him from his loan? It makes you wonder if Lade -- who won plaudits for his work rate and ability to bring a spark to a all-too-stagnant team his rookie year, in spite of his size -- is on the outs in MLS.

Which, really, would make him a perfect pick up for the Cosmos, but that's probably another story.

The point of this story is, well, please, call Connor Lade back. If only to save Fraser's and Wolyniec's legs...