Injuries have hampered Red Bulls midfielder Rafa Marquez all season long, but he's done his part to play through it and ignore obvious discomfort at any chance he gets. According to head coach Hans Backe, that was the reason for Marquez's frustration when met with the tough decision of removing him from the match for precautionary reasons in Saturday's 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium.
“He was very frustrated with the calf. He has been having that, picking up that calf up a number of times this season,’’ Backe said after the team's training session Monday morning at Montclair State University. Backe also added that the injury appeared to be a "soft one," and that a possible decision would come following an MRI.
“I haven’t checked with the trainers today. Probably it has to be I would say a late decision, I would guess. I don’t think it’s a big one, but definitely we will have to wait until tomorrow to tell,’’ said Backe
Marquez has shown a similar drive to gut out his injuries, stemming back to the Sept. 22 match in New England when he insisted trainers tape up his hamstring on the sidelines before re-entering the match. Although Marquez did his best to battle through the discomfort, Backe was forced to removed him from the pitch for precautionary reasons after 35 minutes. The injury was later revealed to be a hamstring injury that kept him out for two weeks.
While the seriousness of this injury still remains up in the air, Backe remained hopeful that Marquez would be able to start for Wednesday's series finale at Red Bull Arena.
Get tickets now to the final leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, set to kick off at 8 PM this Wednesday from Red Bull Arena. Visit Red Bulls Ticket Central to secure your seats, or call 877.RB.SOCCER.
The Red Bulls gutted out a 1-1 draw on the road at RFK Stadium Saturday night to send the Eastern Conference Semifinals series against DC United back to Red Bull Arena for the finale Wednesday at 8 PM.
Own goals from Roy Miller in the 61st minute and Bill Hamid in the 65th minute drew the sides level in what prevailed as a back-and-forth affair between the heated rivals.
Goalkeeper Luis Robles stood tall in net late in the first half when he guessed right and stoned Chris Pontius' PK attempt inside the 33rd minute. The sides entered the half in a scoreless tie, but the tempo picked up in the second half, particularly following a red card incident involving DC United's right back Andy Najar in the 71st minute. Despite a strong possession game and strategic chances on goal, the Red Bulls were unable to capitalize on the man advantage, instead leaving RFK with the draw.
Both sides return to action at Red Bull Arena Wednesday night. The winner advances to the Eastern Conference Finals, while the loser will be forced to put a cap on the 2012 season. Get Tickets now to Wednesday's match at Red Bulls Ticket Central.
Here are a few photos from Saturday's draw:
Down 1-0 after a Roy Miller own goal in the 61st minute, the Red Bulls lucked out with some poor ball handling by Bill Hamid, as DC United leveled the score with an own goal in the 65th minute:
Chris Pontius stepped up for a penalty kick in the 33rd minute after the refs whistled Red Bulls defender Connor Lade for a handball inside the box. Robles, already with a few big stops on the night, hunkered down, guessed right and sent Pontius' attempt off target:
It's well understood that many fans living in the tri-state area at this point in time may not have access to power, let alone a television or internet access. However, in an effort to open up more options for MLS fans living in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the NBC Sports Network has lifted blackout restrictions on tonight's match for MLS Live subscribers.
Again, this is only available to MLS Live subscribers living in the NY/NJ/CT area, and only for tonight's match between the Red Bulls and DC United (8 PM kick off).
We'd like to offer a special thank you to NBC Sports for lifting the restrictions and making it easier for our fans to catch the game, whichever method it is they choose to use.
Of course, if you are without a television, computer or electricity, you can follow updates throughout the match on the Red Bulls Twitter page.
We have some links for you in getting ready for today’s huge MLS Cup Playoffs match against D.C. United:
- Franco Panizo (@FrancoPanizo) was on Hans Backe’s conference call and reported on the status of the team heading into tonight’s match.
- Michael Lewis (@BigAppleSoccer) has several stories on the match-up on BigAppleSoccer.com.
For those looking to take in this weekend's match, or perhaps just get away and recharge for a bit, we have two great viewing parties for you to choose from.
For our New York City fans, if you haven't been to Legends yet for one of our many viewing parties, here's all the info you'll need to help cheer on the Red Bulls as they take on one of their biggest rivals:
6 West 33rd Street (between 5th and 6th ave)
New York, NY 10001
- Party starts at 6 PM (kick off at 8 PM on NBC Sports)
- The Red Bulls street team will be on hand to show off some fancy footwork and tricks
- RSVP on the Football Factory's Event Invitation
For our Brooklyn fans who may not be able to find a way into the City due to mass transit issues, Upper 90 in Brooklyn is hosting its own viewing party, complete with complimentary pizza, beer and plenty of TVs to take in the game. All the info you need is on their event page.
Check them out here:
Upper 90 Soccer and Sport
359 Atlantic Ave.
MLSsoccer.com has launched its online ballot for 2012 Goal of the Year candidates, and two Red Bulls goals have made the cut.
Thierry Henry's goal against Colorado in the Red Bull Arena home opener is included in Group 2 voting, while former Red Bull Mehdi Ballouchy's tally against Montreal has garnered praise in Group 3 voting.
We'll likely see a few more New York candidates included in the voting soon enough, so keep an eye out down the road for more.
Until then, head over to MLSsoccer.com now to cast your votes and watch all of the Goal of the Year candidates for the first round of voting.
A number of Red Bulls were among the millions of people throughout the tri-state area affected by Hurricane Sandy. A few players recounted their personal experiences with the storm as the states continue to recover from the damage sustained in the aftermath.
Nearly every player on the team experienced a power outage, but like many people living in the areas, they did what they could to make the most of it.
Defender Heath Pearce spent time with Kenny Cooper and his family playing Monopoly, but according to Cooper, was pretty disappointed in the outcome.
“We did play some Monopoly,” Cooper said from the training facilities at Montclair State University. “My little brother won the game and I don’t think Heath was too happy about it.”
Midfielder Dax McCarty tweeted out pictures of his “survival kit” Thursday evening before experiencing the storm’s surge a few days later.
“The water came pretty close to my apartment. It was probably about 30 feet from me,” McCarty said. “But I kept the faith, stayed positive and you just kind of will the water down with your thoughts. It didn’t get very close, but it was a little nerve racking there for a time.
Connor Lade, along with his roommates Jeremy Vuolo and Corey Hertzog, played some card games and just made the most of it while waiting for the storm to end.
There's still plenty of work to do as the area continues to heal and recover from the damage done. In that respect, the Red Bulls and Major League Soccer announced Wednesday Red Cross Hurricane Sandy disaster relief efforts. To find out more, and to learn how you can help those in need, visit this link: http://bit.ly/PFvAkT