Red Bulls' Henry, Márquez both feeling fitter
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Thierry Henry returned to the practice field on Thursday and said he's confident a minor calf injury won't rule him out New York's crucial match Saturday in Toronto.
Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe said Henry developed cramps in both calves after New York's 1-0 loss to Los Angeles this past weekend. Following Tuesday’s practice, Henry had his calf scanned as a precaution.
Henry attributed the injury to a lack of training and preparation heading into his first matches with his new team. The striker entered the midseason in what he termed as his preseason, and feels that the injury on Saturday and the groin pull the week before was a result of that.
Henry wishes he didn’t go straight into playing but had more time to prepare, saying that ideally before his first match, there would have been two weeks of training. In his eyes, the injury is part of his push to be match ready.
“That’s the kind of thing you have if you don’t have good preparation,” Henry said of the calf strains.
According to Backe, Henry is almost ready for 90 minutes against Toronto this weekend.
Márquez feeling fit, more ready
After what he termed a “disappointing” performance following Saturday’s 1-0 home loss to Los Angeles, Rafa Márquez said he is back and feeling much better.
The previous week was a busy one for the Mexican National Team captain, who made his MLS debut in a scoreless draw in Chicago. Four days later, Márquez led El Tri against World Cup winners Spain in a friendly in Mexico City.
Then after a long flight and arriving back in the Tri-State Area on Thursday, he started and played into the second half in the loss to Los Angeles.
Márquez said he's “hoping in one to two weeks to be at a much better physical level then I am right now.”
After years spent at FC Barcelona, Márquez is now adjusting to life with the Red Bulls. After much of the first team left the field on Monday for regeneration and stretching, Márquez stayed behind with the second team to train. He went the full training session with the second-teamers including the small-sided games and possession drills.
On Wednesday, he was very active in training and trying to get acclimated with his teammates. Márquez worked mainly on finishing but also watched the movements of his teammates, communicating with them and figuring out their style.
“It’s a process getting to know my teammates and them getting to know me,” he said after training. “Like anything else, it is adjusting to something new.”
Márquez also said that the poor form in display on Saturday was not a result of lacking sharpness.
“I think it’s more a question of my fitness,” he said.