The New York Red Bulls have one more game to play in the regular season and that is all they will be focused on for now, since it is a game that can bring them a Supporters' Shield if they are able to win it.
But after that match is over, whether there is celebration or commiseration, the team will have to refocus on the playoffs and the annual quest for MLS Cup. It will be a crowded November for some players. We already know, for example, Kemar Lawrence will be selected to play in Jamaica's mid-November World Cup Qualifiers. It is reasonable to expect Karl Ouimette will get a call-up from Canada. There is even a remote chance one of RBNY's current stalwarts (Matt Miazga, Dax McCarty, Sacha Kljestan) might catch Jurgen Klinsmann in a mood to experiment with his squad. And an even more remote chance Lloyd Sam may get to represent Ghana again, or BWP may decide to give international soccer a try and join Jamaica on the road to Russia 2018.
A crowded schedule brings risk of injury. Any game brings risk of injury, as it happens - and also brings the risk of a red card or some other incident leading to suspension. To navigate the playoffs successfully, it helps to have as full a squad as possible from which to select.
So it is encouraging to hear, from BigAppleSoccer.com's Kristian Dyer, that Roy Miller is just about ready to shake off his injury and start full training again. He is no longer considered a starter on the team, but he is a depth option at both left back and center back, and those are positions where the Red Bulls can get surprisingly thin, surprisingly quickly.
Right back Chris Duvall, unfortunately, is reportedly still "a couple of weeks away" - suggesting he is a long shot to be fit for the start of RBNY's playoff campaign, which is (just about) a couple of weeks away. Still, it is to be hoped the Red Bulls' post-season extends long enough for Duvall to at least be fully fit.
If that happens and Anatole Abang is able to get past the injury that has sidelined him for the past few weeks, RBNY might at least be able to play one game this season with a full roster to choose from.