Red Bulls weigh call-up for Cosmos loanee Connor Lade

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

With international call-ups and injuries hobbling the club, the New York Red Bulls may be looking towards their Cosmos’ loanee Connor Lade to shore up the team for a daunting stretch of matches this month.

“He is definitely on my mind to come back for sure,” head coach Mike Petke revealed after Thursday’s training session. “We had 18 guys available for practice today through call-ups and injuries so yes, he is definitely someone [we are looking at].”

New York are facing a total of seven matches in 22 days through the month of September, including regular season and CONCACAF Champions League encounters. This week alone, the club embarks on three vital Eastern Conference matches; Sporting K.C. on Saturday at Red Bull Arena, D.C. United midweek at home and the resurgent Philadelphia Union next Saturday at PPL Park.

The Red Bulls are not counting on their international talent (Ambroise Oyongo, Tim Cahill, Matt Miazga, Santiago Castano) to return for the Philadelphia match. “From what I understood, they will miss three games,” Petke noted. “Until I find out differently, that is what I will say. We expect not to have Mr. Oyongo or Mr. Cahill until the fourth game, I guess Montreal or Seattle. After the Philly game.”

Those losses may also be compounded if Costa Rica reach the finals of their Copa Centroamericana tournament. If they do, Roy Miller will be eligible to join the national team as well.

How bare boned are the Red Bulls? A sparse practice at Red Bull Arena called for coaches Robin Fraser and John Wolyniec to suit up, just to make up the numbers. “If Robin was a little younger and could give me 25 minutes, I’d sign him today. Same with John, with the heart and desire they have,” said Petke.

The further loss of talent could make Lade a viable option for the Red Bulls, despite the current needs of the Cosmos.

“That is why he is close with New York because we can just grab him back when we need him,” Petke said. “We are evaluating that and which bodies we need and who we need.”