Red Bulls counting on healthy Veron for Houston match

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by DAVE MARTINEZ

After failing to score in 180 minutes, the New York Red Bulls are hoping to find answers in Gonzalo Veron.

Sidelined since the final game of preseason, the Argentine sparkplug has rejoined Red Bulls training and will be available for this weekend’s match at Red Bull Arena against the Houston Dynamo.

“In the first game we used a little bit of two strikers. This game, we did a little bit at the end,” Jesse Marsch told reporters after training on Tuesday. “Now that we will have everyone available, we can look at things and think about how we use all our pieces to get an effective gameplan in place.”

Veron was a key component in the Red Bulls’ experimentation with a two-man front. In fact, he scored a hat trick against the Jacksonville Armada this preseason just before falling to a hamstring pull. Against the Impact, New York looked one dimensional. Even Marsch admitted that “teams are prepared for the press and combat it in different ways.”

Now with Veron’s return, New York will go back to that experimentation, giving the Red Bulls a new look against old enemies.

“We used him a lot as a striker … in preseason,” Marsch said. “I think there’s potential to do that again [on Saturday], but he can also tilt to the left or the right, as well.

“We’ll think about exactly how we want to game plan against Houston and then put something in place.”

Team leader Luis Robles expressed his excitement over Veron’s return as well, and also believes that his mere availability — starting or not — will be enough to keep teams unbalanced against a flexible Red Bulls attack.

“He gives us another attacking option. During preseason, he was really good for us. Of course we will be excited to have him back on the field,” Robles said. “We have a lot of quality when we’re going forward, and to be able to add a piece like Gonzalo is important. Having all the options possible for Jesse is important, but it also puts pressure on the other team not really knowing what to expect whether we put him out on the field or Grella or Lloyd.

“The nice thing is we have options but we’re really excited to get him back on the field.”

  • Red

    How do you watch this game live?

    • James Sam

      On MLS live if you live out of the TV market