Red Bulls Notes: New York ready to deal with deficiencies, Armando being watched, more

Red Bulls Mike Petke training

BY MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

As the New York Red Bulls start the season without victory in their first four tries, it won’t get any easier as they travel to Montreal for an encounter on a turf field, with injuries and key players depleting their roster options

Tim Cahill and Richard Eckersley fell injured during the team’s encounter against Chivas USA and Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave are likely medically excused from the match.  With depth in question on Saturday against the Impact, the Red Bulls remain confident and expect the players on the pitch to still have cohesion — despite limited time playing together.

“Just like all the teams have nowadays. Look at Kansas, look at Salt Lake, all of the teams, they have players that know what to do,” said head coach Mike Petke.  “When time comes, they can do it because they have been in that system a long time. So same thing, that’s how you build a team right?”
“We have a deep squad and everybody can step into this team too,” said Kosuke Kimura after Red Bulls’ training on Friday.
Kimura is one player expected to play even after picking up a knock this weekend. Although Kimura had a swollen ankle and a bag of ice wrapped from foot to shin after the match, there is no cause for concern.
 “It was just a little bit of a knock and within the next couple of hours he was fine so there’s no concerns with Kimura,” head coach Mike Petke told EOS, noting that Kimura is 100%.
Amid changes all the roster tumult, confidence hasn’t dipped in the Red Bulls’ locker room.
“We have to protect the Supporters’ Shield. We to  have the confidence in us. We have to trust each other and as long as we have that we just have to go out there, put our effort in and I think the result will come,” said Kimura.
For players that haven’t yet played significant minutes, this is their moment to step up. Any impactful performance could very well set them up for more minutes down the road. “It sounds like it’s sometimes a tough task and all that, but you’ve just been waiting for it. If you’re in a team, you’re a professional, you just wait for the chance and if you want to grab it, it’s all up to you,” Kimura said.
With several changes forthcoming, Petke didn’t sound concerned about who will take the field in Montreal. The second year coach continues to keep faith in his players, regardless of who takes the pitch.
“There’s always a chance for guys to step up. I know we have some guys out, some that won’t be involved, but we have some guys that have some quality and we’re putting them in certain positions and we’re hoping it will pay dividends,” he said.
Although many of the players haven’t had much time together on the pitch, the Red Bulls do not believe there will be a lack of cohesion amongst a make-shift squad. After strong training sessions and seeing two early subs against Chivas USA, the Red Bulls feel that’s proof they can cope amid changes.
“We saw yesterday, we worked on a little bit of 11v11, I saw good things. We just have to go out there and get the feeling,” said Kimura.
Peguy Luyindula, who may possibly find himself further forward with key absences, agreed with the right back’s sentiments.
“I hope not. We saw that Bradley [Wright-Phillips] came in on the last game and he came in very well and we were able to adapt very quick and we will try to prove it once again,” the Frenchman said.
Without a win thus far and another trip to Canada after opening night’s heavy loss to Vancouver, the Red Bulls can ill-afford to enter the match in a timid fashion.
“We have to [be confident], we can’t go out there to Montreal and start to have fear or something, we know that we are good players,” said Luyindula.
Saturday’s encounter against the Impact will be New York’s chance to prove it.
NEWS AND NOTES
  • ARMANDO A TARGET: Petke told media on Friday that the PRO (Professional Referee’s Organization) was keeping a keen eye on Armando, who has shown a propensity for the occasional hard foul.  The Red Bull boss learned of this from speaking to the fourth official during Sunday’s Chivas USA encounter.  “Every little challenge or every challenge that could be questionable that perhaps another player would walk away from, he might be targeted now,” said Petke. “It’s about telling him without losing his bite we need him to adjust to the game in MLS. I don’t want him to adjust, but it’s becoming apparent that he’ll have to a little bit.”
  • DI VAIO A TARGET: Marco Di Vaio has been a Red Bull killer since his arrival in the States — a fact not lost on New York.  “It’s MLS; you never know who’s going to win first of all,” said Kosuke Kimura.  “Obviously we have a good team too, the same thing, they have good players, something’s maybe not clicking right, just like us. But definitely, they have some good players. [Marco] Di Vaio, he can turn a notch. Maybe he doesn’t touch the ball for a while, but it doesn’t matter, he is looking for that one ball to finish the goal. That’s why we have to be tuned in the entire 90 minutes, even if we’re going in there, it’s an away game, but you have to have that mentality always.”
  • SCORING THE FOCUS:  The Red Bulls spoke about getting off to a good start and not playing behind on the road.  The team has scored a pedestrian four goals through four matches, and for one, Bradley Wright-Phillips hopes to end the trend.  “Yeah, well me personally, I want to get some goals, you know, I’m a striker, that’s what I get paid to do, so I want to get some goals. If you can talk to any of the wing players, the midfielders, to assist me I’d be very grateful.”