‘The Truth Is The Game:’ Perrinelle Returns to Red Bulls

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RUSS McKENZIE

New York’s defense is about to get a boost.

New York Red Bulls defender Damien Perrinelle rejoined the team in training Monday morning. The Frenchman has been recovering from a torn ACL sustained in last year’s playoffs.

After training Tuesday, Perrinelle gave an update on his recovery.

“I feel good,” he said. “My fitness is good. Now I have to work on the details. Nothing can replace the game. We can train as much as we want, but at the end, the truth is the game. I can’t wait to play my first game.”

Despite his progress, the road to recover is not quite over. It could be nearly 10 months since the injury before Perrinelle sees the field.

The centerback sees himself being ready, but is being cautious. “I can’t tell you now the timing,” he said. “I hope to be able to play in July, but I can’t tell you exactly when.”

Head coach Jesse Marsch knows the Red Bulls upcoming schedule is unforgiving. With New York opening their US Open Cup schedule next week, Marsch will need Perrinelle to augment his roster and allow some rotation of players, as the Red Bulls work towards their goals. Marsch admitted being torn between pushing Perrinelle back into the lineup and exercising caution. “I think (Damien) will be 100% in July, but we’re hopeful to get him more integrated more often here in the next couple of days. We’re being cautious, but I feel like I’m trying to push from my end to get him involved a little bit more because he’s important and because he’s anxious to get back into things,” Marsch said.

“We want to get him going, but not put him in harm’s way.”

Perrinelle was given the opportunity to do what he needed to do in recovery. He spent several weeks with Clairefontaine, and spent his final week in France training with his national team. He credits that process for building himself back up.

“My last game was November 2nd. But with the break we had (between 2015 and 2016), I didn’t miss so much,” he said. “Now, I hope to ready for the second part of the season and to help the team to win MLS cup this year.”

  • slowleftarm

    I would be surprised to see him back in the first team this month. Makes sense to have him play once or twice for RBNY II to get his fitness back.

  • Andrew Bissonette

    Is it just me or is our central defense suddenly looking incredibly deep? Zubar, Collin, Baah, Ouimette, even Chris Duvall, and now Perrinelle. We have 6 guys who we can legitimately count on when called upon.

    • Ace Face

      Can we really count on Zubar???????????????????????

    • slowleftarm

      I don’t know how much some of those guys can really be counted on to play well but there is some depth coming back at the CB position.