Making that task even harder is the injury bug which seems to be floating around Red Bull Arena like an annoying mosquito. Here is what the Red Bulls official game report had to say on the injuries:
- Thierry Henry missed the match through swelling in his right knee, but was able to return to regular training to begin the week. Backe said Henry looked "decent", but added he still might not be available.
- "[He] still has problems with the long passes where he has to open up," Backe said.
- However, Backe said Mexican international defender Rafael Márquez could be out after suffering a groin strain in warmups prior to the Dynamo match.
Henry looks to be on the path to getting healthy, which is a great thing to hear if you are New York. While it seems like Henry might not start tonight, he could be used as a very late substitution depending on how he feels this morning.
The alarming news is Marquez, who is one of the more important players on the team. Sometimes Marquez gets overlooked because of his defensive focus, but Marquez has been a tremendous part of keeping New York's back line steady during opposing pressure. Groin strains also tend to be a nagging injury if they aren't treated properly (and sometimes if they are treated properly) so expect Backe to go easy with him.
The Red Bulls also announced that Chris Albright had successful hernia surgery earlier this week.
Despite all the injuries the Red Bulls have to be prepared to play without their star players. Injuries happen over the course of the season, and the Red Bulls have to deal with it.
We'll get a good sense of how they handle it tonight. The game kicks off at 8 p.m. and will be televised on MSG.
More after the game.