The New York Red Bulls announced Tuesday that striker Luke Rodgers will not play Wednesday night when New York opens the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs in a single-elimination match on the road against FC Dallas (9 pm ET, FOX Soccer/TSN 2). Rodgers suffered a knee injury in the regular-season finale against Philadelphia Union.
Red Bulls coach Hans Backe knows that the loss of Rodgers is a devastating blow to New York. “Unfortunately, we have a frightening record without Luke,” Backe said.
The Red Bulls went 0-2-4 when Rodgers missed six games earlier this season with plantar fascittis. They have gone 4-2-2 since the energetic Rodgers has returned to the lineup.
“He’s that very, very busy striker who can almost press the back four himself," Backe said. "His energy, work ethic, also the character he is. He’s quite a tough guy, goes into tackles at the level, scores goals. It’s a lot of energy.”
The Red Bulls are 1-0-1 in two meetings with FC Dallas this season.