Arizona Day 9: Red Bulls Notebook

28 February 7:03 pm

Arizona Day 9: Red Bulls Notebook

By Brian Tsao

TUCSON, AZ - The New York Red Bulls head into their third Tucson Desert Diamond Cup game tomorrow evening looking for a strong performance against defending MLS Cup Champion, the LA Galaxy.

New York is seeking its first win in the preseason tournament after falling to Real Salt Lake and the New England Revolution in the past week. However, head coach Hans Backe’s side will certainly be without Icelandic midfielder Victor Palsson, who has suffered a knee injury.

“I think hopefully it’s quite a soft injury,” Backe said. “It’s a small tear in his meniscus that will keep him out from, I would guess hopefully, maximum seven to 10 days.”

A pair of players who Backe does expect to feature tomorrow is defender Wilman Conde and midfielder Teemu Tainio. Conde has been making his return to match fitness over the past several weeks and earned his first minutes when he played the opening 35 in a 2-0 loss to New England last Saturday. Backe said that Conde will feature for the entire first half against LA and a decision will be made at halftime to see if he could play further.

As for Tainio, who was hampered with a calf injury a few weeks ago in Mexico, Backe expects the Finn to build on his 45-minute performance against Pumas in Phoenix last Thursday.

“He’s back. He was out for two weeks and you can see it. Every player missing two weeks, you’re perhaps not 100 percent sharp, but he has no pain…and that’s good and hopefully, he can do at least 60 minutes,” Backe said.

As opposed to the opening two matches where he used a younger lineup, Backe expects to field a more veteran side Wednesday night. The Red Bulls will also be missing the services of defenders Rafa Marquez (Mexico) and Roy Miller (Costa Rica), midfielder Joel Lindpere (Estonia) and forward Juan Agudelo (U.S. U-23 MNT) due to international duty.

Fans can watch the match live via www.newyorkredbulls.com or www.mlssoccer.com. Kickoff will be approximately at 10:30 PM ET.