RBNY Notebook: Collin on the Mend

Matt Kremkau

By ANTHONY J. MERCED

Red Bulls logoThe New York Red Bulls are in desperate need of defensive help and Aurelien Collin might be ready contribute, according to Coach Jesse Marsch. Collin has been injured since late April with an abdominal strain and has forced New York into patch-work efforts on the back line. Now, it appears that there is a chance that Collin could see minutes on Saturday at last-place Montreal (3-4-4, 13 points).

“Saturday is a possibility,” Marsch said. “He’s looking good. We don’t want to rush him but he looked great today. There’s a good chance he starts getting training tomorrow and then we go from there.”

Damien Perrinelle has filled in for Collin since April, but has struggled. New  York (6-6-2, 20) is the third-worst defensive team in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference, having allowed 20 goals. The rookie Aaron Long has done his best alongside Perrinelle but the wear-and-tear may be finally getting to him and Collin’s return could be what the team needs to regain its defensive form.

“Just cramping up,” Long said during training. “I think just a lot of minutes are starting to get to me but I’ll take care of myself better during the week and I’ll be fine for Montreal.”

Baah Training with USL Team

The injured defender Gideon Baah is shaking off the rust after an early-season leg injury that was supposed to keep him out of action for the entire season. Now, according to the team, he is training with the United Soccer League New York Red Bulls II team as a neutral player. Expectations aren’t that he we will be playing any time soon, however he appears to be progressing much faster than anticipated.

“He is spending time with the USL team as a neutral which gives him enough time to integrate back into things,” Marsch said. “His attitude has been phenomenal. He’s been optimistic and positive and worked really hard. He’s rusty, which is normal, but physically we feel he’s getting himself on track. We’re hopeful we can really use the year to build him up and start to think about how everything fits for next year.”

Baah was a key pick up in the 2016 season and was expected to be a major player with the team on defense in 2017, until a broken leg sidelined him. He has made only nine appearances for the team.

NYRB II Beat the Best in the East

New York Red Bulls II (4-5-2, 14) ended a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over first-place Charleston Battery (7-2-2, 23) last Sunday afternoon. Derrick Etienne Jr., recently sent down to the USL, scored his first goal of the season in all competitions with a howling free kick. The win got the team back on track as it appears to finally be settling in with the new cast of characters.

“Our guys have to be a bit more determined and resolute to stay with what we do,” Coach John Wolyniec said. “To have a bit more faith in it and each other and not let one or two plays that don’t go our way kind of affect us.”

New York is in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with three points separating third place from eighth place. RBII travels to City Stadium to play the Richmond Kickers (2-5-4, 10) on Saturday night.