All eyes on Perrinelle after injury scare vs. DC United

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by DAVE MARTINEZ

WASHINGTON, D.C. – While Matt Miazga earns most of the media plaudits for the defensive aptitude of the Red Bulls, Damien Perrinelle has quietly been the rock behind New York’s backline this season.

Now, the Red Bulls may be forced to play on without him.

The 32-year-old Frenchman suffered what appeared to be a major knee injury against DC United in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday, putting his availability into question for the second leg of the postseason encounter. Perrinelle landed awkwardly and fell to a pile in the 48th minute of Sunday’s match, forcing him out of the encounter in favor of fellow countryman, Ronald Zubar.

The Red Bulls issued no update as of Monday afternoon on the condition of their defender. Perrinelle, however, did disclose via Twitter that he would seek a scan on his leg on Monday.

Perrinelle has been a major piece to the Red Bulls’ outstanding defensive efforts this season. While most will focus on his penchant for drawing yellow cards (11 this season), New York are 1-4-1 when he is not in the 18 man roster; a far worse record for the Red Bulls than the team’s record when Miazga is out (3-4-1).

Zubar replaced Perrinelle in the match and gave New York a scare in the 68th minute on a questionable tackle that could have been a called red card. He is the odds-on-favorite to start if Perrinelle is not ready to go. However, Karl Ouimette has also been called upon in similar situations, and has proven a key contributor when available. However, he was at the helm of the Red Bulls backline through their most difficult period in the May/June months, suffering a 2-4-2 record as a starter this year.

Head coach Jesse Marsch said he was “mildly concerned” with the injury and hopes for the best outcome in his defender’s situation.

“Obviously very unfortunate about Damien,” Marsch said. “We hope for the best right now, but we’re a little bit worried on that end.”

  • 5 Boroughs SC

    Would rather Ouimette start.