Red Bulls trying to avoid "trap game" against Chivas

Tainio should be back in starting XI for Eastern Conference leaders

Sunday night against Chivas USA (7 pm ET, Galavision) has all the makings of a classic “trap game” for the Red Bulls.

Sitting atop the Eastern Conference, the Red Bulls come into the match
flying high. Unbeaten in their last four with nine scored and just one
conceded over that stretch, New York hosts a Chivas USA side mired near
the bottom of the Western Conference.

It would be easy for the Red Bulls to be overly confident given their
current form - especially with forward Marcos Mondaini suspended for the
match and unavailable for the Rojiblancos.

“I am a little worried about this week mentally,” Backe said. “That’s most what I’m worried about.”

The schedule has been a hectic one this week for Backe’s club. The team
flew back to Newark International Airport on Sunday following a 1-1
draw at the LA Galaxy, and had regeneration and light training on
Monday. On Tuesday, Backe - along with Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez -
went up to Montreal a day early for a press conference ahead of the a
midweek friendly against the Impact.

Wednesday, the rest of the team joined them for the friendly – a 1-0 loss.

It all left New York with precious little time to prepare for the Chivas match.

“It will be a tricky game because of the preparation this week,” Backe
said on Friday. “We haven’t had the kind of preparation we want due to
the Montreal game.”

Bull Strength:

Eight of the 10 starters from the Galaxy tie started in Montreal, and
Backe should again have his first choice team for this weekend.

“Probably the same team [but] Teemu [Tainio] will be back,” Backe said. “He’s been training Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.”

The attack should also benefit from the return of Luke Rodgers, who did
not travel on Wednesday for the friendly with what the player called a
“dead leg.”

“Luke was just resting,” Backe said. “Luke will be ready.”

Robbo Update:

Following a challenge late in the first half of the Montreal friendly,
defensive midfielder Carl Robinsion was subbed out of the match in the
41st minute with a knee injury. The prognosis isn’t too good.

“Looks like the same injury as last year,” Backe said, noting that
Robinson missed nearly two months of 2010 with a knee injury.

Miller Isn’t Golden:

Backe said that the Costa Rica national team has notified the Red Bulls
that they will not take left back Roy Miller as part of the Gold Cup
squad, but do plan to include the player into their plans for this
summer’s Copa America. This was welcome news for the head coach, who is
looking at Chris Albright as a potential fill-in for Miller on the left
side of the defense; Albright saw his first action of the season
Wednesday night in the friendly as he continues to recover from
preseason knee surgery.

Raring Rodgers:

After making some choice statements on Monday about the Galaxy’s Landon
Donovan, Rodgers still has the support of his coach. Backe wasn’t aware
of Rodgers’ comments till later in the day when some players told him
about the saucy remarks, and he hasn’t spoken to the player about his
verbiage.

“I don’t bother, in a way, I don’t think it was too bad,” Backe said. “That’s the kind of character he is.”

Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer