Rested and recharged, Albright set to return

Red Bulls defender expected back against Kansas City

Chris Albright

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Since earning the starting spot at right back in mid-spring, veteran Chris Albright has been a fixture on the back line for the New York Red Bulls’ revamped defensive group.

But
Albright – who battled back from an injury-plagued 2009 season when he
made just one appearance with New England – was forced out of the lineup
last Friday against the LA Galaxy, and instead rested at home in Philadelphia while the Red Bulls headed west.

“He looked more dead than alive,” said head coach Hans Backe.

Backe gave Albright the game off and started the recently-acquired Carey Talley
in his place. Albright worked extensively on fitness while trying to
recover from a slight groin pull, relying on some much-needed rest to
recharge his 31-year-old batteries.

“Coach wanted me to
recharge,” Albright told MLSsoccer.com. “Looking back on it, my body has
felt really great. I’m surprised at how well it’s done. But I’m coming
off a serious injury and I just got a bit tired.”

Albright is expected to return to the New York lineup on Saturday, when the Red Bulls play host to the Kansas City Wizards.

 


Getty Images

Albright
was acquired by the Red Bulls in a draft day trade with New England, a
shrewd move partially orchestrated by assistant coach Richie Williams.
The right back says that he enjoyed his time in New England and that he
greatly respects the Revolution’s head coach, but he knew the
opportunity to come to the Red Bulls was a good one.

“New England
actually gave me a few different options when teams were asking about
me, inquiring about possible trades and moves,” Albright said. “So they
talked with me and gave me the different options, and New York was one
of them.”

After talking with his wife, the former D.C. United and Galaxy right back decided that staying in the Eastern Conference and playing with New York was the right choice.

“I
knew the organization and I knew what Red Bull was doing and how they
were turning things around,” Albright said. “With the stadium coming and
the way they do things, I knew this was the right fit for me. I was
right.”

Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012