Apr 6, 2012, 4:19 PM EDT
At first glance, this is pretty bad news for the New York Red Bulls.
Midfielder Teemu Tainio and center back Wilman Conde, two thirds of the side’s preferred central, defensive triangle, have been ruled out for Saturday’s test in Columbus.
It’s New York’s third go at life on the road. How did those other two work out? Somewhere between “bad” and “fiasco.”
(Actually, not all that bad But as they were the first two games of the year, and since we’re talking about New York, the closely watched side from the land’s dominant media market, #RBNY gets judged on a different scale – for better or worse. It is what it is.)
So Saturday’s match against a Columbus team was always important. And now, manager Hans Backe seems to fighting with a shorter stick.
But is it really so dire?
Stephen Keel will presumably come back into the lineup alongside Markus Holgersson in the center of New York’s defense. Keel, a sixth-year MLS man, has established himself as a trustworthy backup. The side’s passing out of defense might suffer a bit, but Keel’s tackling and ball-winning are dependable enough.
Meanwhile, the Rafa Marquez-Dax McCarty combo in central midfield is working fine, too. That’s the way it’s been for two games, anyway, as McCarty’s busyness and ability to be an effective two-way man complements Marquez’s desire to sit deep and play-make for recessed areas.
The length of Tainio’s anticipated absence is, on the other hand, rather alarming. He could miss up to six weeks with a knee injury collected Thursday in practice.
Even there, Joel Lindpere could play the holding midfield position if needed. In fact, it might just help Lindpere shake the funk that’s dragging down his 2012 season. There’s even a chance, apparently, that Backe benches his Estonian midfielder Saturday in favor of Mehdi Ballouchy.
Mar 9, 2014, 10:23 AM EDT
Jozy Altidore was left out of the Sunderland squad today thanks to a knock he picked up in training, but this season as a whole has been a train wreck.
Mar 9, 2014, 9:26 AM EDT
According to the player’s agent and brother, an English club – and possibly multiple – made a large offer for the defender, but he is happy at Real Madrid.
Mar 9, 2014, 8:53 AM EDT
Because there’s still hope for humanity, a player convinces the referee he wasn’t taken down in the box and that a penalty shouldn’t be awarded
Mar 9, 2014, 7:34 AM EDT
Two goals from players in their Major League Soccer debuts crack our first Top 5 list.
Mar 9, 2014, 7:02 AM EDT
Will Bruin, Federico Higuaín, and Kenny Miller each scored two goals as a cagey start transformed into fireworks.
Gastón Fernández pays immediate dividends for Portland, but don’t overlook a strong night from Philadelphia
Mar 9, 2014, 6:10 AM EDT
“La Gata’s” late heroics can’t overshadow a strong start for the new-look Union.
Mar 9, 2014, 5:25 AM EDT
MLS’s best forward had a very non-best night on Saturday, with his inability to convert a late penalty kick costing his team in Carson.
Mar 9, 2014, 4:02 AM EDT
The former Canadian international drew a late penalty in the Galaxy’s loss to RSL.
Mar 9, 2014, 12:18 AM EDT
Holding serve was enough in game one under their new coach, with Dallas’s big three threat delivering against the Impact.
Mar 8, 2014, 10:18 PM EDT
They finished last year at opposite ends of the East. On Saturday, D.C. and New York both stumbled in their 2014 openers.
Mar 8, 2014, 9:34 PM EDT
After a downturn in 2013, Houston’s main attacking threat has already bagged two.
Mar 8, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT
The 35-year-old, four-time Best XI midfielder is left looking for his fourth team in three seasons.
Mar 8, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT
CONCACAF Champions League mattered, Seattle will need more time, and Sporting plays to type in MLS opener.
Mar 8, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT
On his fifth team in five years, Barrett delivered Saturday for Seattle.
Mar 8, 2014, 5:33 PM EDT
Late match chaos produced 2014′s first point of drama, with the veteran journeyman giving Seattle a perfect start.
Mar 8, 2014, 4:21 PM EDT
Bayern dominated once again, scoring six against Wolfsburg, while Schalke proved they’re still able to dominate matches by scoring four.
Mar 8, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT
Four decades of soccer in the Pacific Northwest were celebrated at CenturyLink Field.
Mar 8, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT
The Rapids finally confirm the man who guided them through the preseason would replace Óscar Pareja.
Mar 8, 2014, 2:40 PM EDT
Big wins for Man United, Chelsea and Cardiff on a stellar Saturday of PL action:
Mar 8, 2014, 2:35 PM EDT
Sporting’s title defense begins at CenturyLink Field, with MLS’s first game of the 2014 season available on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
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