The two NYRB attacking DPs should both feature in Saturday’s crunch Eastern Conference match against Philadelphia Union.
New York Red Bull play host to Eastern Conference rivals Philadelphia Union on Saturday in a match that, regardless of outcome, will play a massive part in the shaping of the playoff picture.
Just three days before kickoff, RBNY have received the best possible news – both captain Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill.
Head coach Mike Petke confirmed to MLSSoccer.com the RBNY’s two biggest Designated Players will be fit enough to feature on Saturday, with Henry set to play the full 90 minutes.
“I fully expect Thierry to be available this weekend, 100 per cent,” said Petke, “It was something that I was aware about all week. I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen and then on Thursday, we made a precautionary decision. It was acting up and we went with it.”
Henry missed last Saturday’s league match due to an inflamed achilles tendon – his Red Bulls went on to lose 2-0 to 8th placed Columbus crew.
“Cahill practiced fully today, 100 per cent, no limitations,” continued Petke. “That’s a phenomenal sign, obviously. Judging by today’s performance. I’d expect a very good possibility that he’ll be available but we still have three practice sessions to go.”
For Cahill to return so early is much more surprising, given the nature of the injury and the shocking tackle responsible for it. The Aussie tore a posterior cruciate ligament following a reckless challenge from Real Salt Lake’s Yordany Alvarez on July 27th.
There’s a chance that New York might even be back to a full attacking quota should Lloyd Sam continue to make good progress in his rehabilitation.
The English winger was the man of the match for the Red Bulls after his stunning substitute performance against Sporting Kansas City two gameweeks ago, but had to leave the match early after damaging his left quadriceps.
“Lloyd was partially in today,” said Petke, “I’ve not gotten a final update on him. It was predetermined to do just a partial [session], so it’s not like we pulled him out for no reason, and he looked okay as far as the injury. That’s a good sign for him as well, but again there’s three days left.”