Sutton returns to Montreal with starting spot on his mind

Red Bulls 'keeper spent five years with Impact, but focused on New York's back line

UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls' friendly against
Montreal on Wednesday will be a homecoming of sorts for Red Bulls
goalkeeper Greg Sutton.

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Sutton was the starting goalkeeper for the Impact from 2001-06, making more than 130 starts for the USL club.

Five years removed, things have changed for both parties. Sutton went
on to find success in MLS with Toronto FC and now the Red Bulls, while
the Impact are getting ready to enter MLS in 2012.

But Sutton — who took the field against Montreal once while with TFC in
2008 during a Nutrilite Canadian Championship match — doesn’t feel
overly emotional about the match.

“They have a good franchise going, they’re growing and seem to be doing
well,” the Canadian international told this week. “But
it’s not on my mind, it isn’t in my thoughts. I’m focused more on the
season than on any returns or reception from the fans or anything like

Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe has said that Sutton will start on Wednesday, the goalkeeper’s first action since Week 1.

Following a shutout win over Seattle to open the season, Sutton
suffered a concussion the next week in training and was held out of the next two
matches due to the side effects of the injury.

Sutton’s injury opened the door for Bouna Coundoul to step into the
starting position, a role the Senegalese ‘keeper held last season.
Sutton’s concussion and New York’s recently strong form defensively —
the club has allowed just one goal over the past four games — means
Sutton has found himself on the bench again.

“I’ve been 100 percent for a couple weeks," Sutton said. "I’ve been
happy with how I’ve been practicing and performing right now in
training. I think my form from preseason has carried over to now. But
timing is everything in sports, and it is frustrating given how I was
playing. But with things like this, you can’t look back.”

Wednesday night gives Sutton a chance to not only stay sharp but
perhaps make a statement that he should be included in the starting XI.

“It is obviously a good opportunity for me,” Sutton said. “I feel good,
I feel ready to play. I can’t wait to get on the field again and show
what I’ve got.”