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Report: Fredrik Gulbrandsen ruled out of New York Red Bulls' game against Houston Dynamo

Quite the run RBNY has going at the moment: third week in a row a first-team absentee has been announced just before a game.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

For the third week in a row, the New York Red Bulls announced an eleventh-hour scratch from their expected starting lineup.

Shortly before lineups were announced in Seattle on March 19, RBNY let it be known Kemar Lawrence wasn't with the team. Just before the team-sheet was revealed for the Red Bulls' game against Real Salt Lake on March 25, it was announced that Mike Grella had been sidelined by injury.

The latest installment of the club's newest tradition: Fredrik Gulbrandsen was held out of the squad to play Houston Dynamo on April 1, due to a decision characterized as "precautionary" in RBNY's official announcement. The player is said to have a "groin issue". The news was officially revealed less than an hour before kick-off against the Dynamo.

The Red Bulls are either having an extraordinary run of bad luck with late-breaking fitness and availability issues, or they are enjoying keeping opponents guessing about the identity of their match-day squads. Lawrence, Grella, and (latterly - he's only been with the team for a few weeks) Gulbrandsen are all senior members of the first team roster.

For the Houston game, Gulbrandsen's place in the lineu-up was taken by Derrick Etienne.