Lineup changes expected for Henry's Red Bulls debut

Match vs. Spurs gives coach Backe chance to try new combinations

New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe looks to ring in some changes when the side takes the field against Tottenham Hotspur in the opener of the Barclays New York Challenge on Thursday night.

Roy Miller is set to replace Danleigh Borman at left back and Seth Stammler will take over Sinisa Ubiparipovic’s spot on the wing. Carl Robinson is slotted into the defensive midfield role.

And fresh from a substitute appearance in Saturday’s game, Macoumba Kandji will partner with Thierry Henry up top.

“I think [Henry] will be ready for 30, maybe 45 minutes,” Backe told MLSsoccer.com.

Henry stayed after practice for nearly 30 minutes, working on fitness and some shooting drills.

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Backe also said that a Brazilian trialist, a 20-year-old midfielder, is being evaluated by the club and could be on the roster Thursday or Sunday for a run of “maybe 20 minutes.”

In addition, little-used Jeremy Hall will most likely play in both matches. The Red Bulls coach told MLSsoccer.com that he recently spoke to Hall about the player’s transition from the back line to the midfield and he expects the matches will be a good chance to help the player in the process.

One player who is clearly not ready for the Tottenham match is Juan Pablo Angel, who said the sprained ankle suffered in the Saturday match is healing. He said it was “painful the past couple days” as he trained by himself. He is hopeful to play Sunday against Manchester City.

As for the possibility that the club will sign a third designated player, Backe said: “I am still rather confident.” He added that he is hopeful that the signing could take place around the Houston match on July 31st, but he doesn’t expect the player to be available for that fixture. 

Kristian Dyer is a reporter for MLSSoccer.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs. He can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012