Notebook: All in All, Health Not a Concern for Red Bulls

Minor injuries aside, the Red Bulls enter the new season fit and healthy to compete

After a productive preseason campaign, Head Coach Hans Backe is pleased with the lack of injuries in the squad.

Jan Gunnar Solli

Fullback Jan Gunnar Solli is focusing on being fit for Sunday’s opener at FC Dallas Stadium. Solli put in extra fitness and conditioning work today in training.

“He did thirty minutes today, and he felt quite okay, so with treatment tomorrow, Friday and Saturday he should be in,” Backe said.

Wilman Conde

Newly acquired defender Wilman Conde is nursing a thigh injury picked up in the early stages of the team’s third match of the Desert Diamond Cup against the LA Galaxy last week. Backe is confident Conde will work hard to ensure he plays in time for the 2012 season home opener against the Colorado Rapids on March 25 or perhaps even sooner.

“He has had his treatment. I would guess at the beginning of next week he would be ready to start training,” Backe said. “If training next week works well he definitely could be an option against Salt Lake.”

According to Backe, Conde’s injury is understandable, as he has not played in a competitive match for almost 10 months.

“It’s quite typical to pick up these kind of injuries when you don’t have the basic, preseasons in your body, but we’ll see. We have to gamble a little bit. I’d like to see him playing.”

Ryan Meara

Goalkeeper Ryan Meara is another player with minor injury concern after he suffered a broken nose during the match last week against the LA Galaxy. However, during a media briefing at Wednesday’s training session, Backe showed his belief in the young keeper’s attitude.

“He’s playing most of the first team games we’ve done so far. I think he did okay today with his broken nose,” Backe said. “It shouldn’t be any problem. Worst case he will have a mask. So at the moment it looks like Meara will be first choice.”

Overall Fit and Healthy

Other than Conde’s injury, Backe is breathing a sigh of relief at the few minor injuries the squad has picked up this preseason.

“I would say also that we’ve been quite lucky after preseason that we have so few injuries. Normally you pick up a little bit more. I would say it’s only Conde that is out with injury, so I would say we’ve been lucky.”

New York kicks off its new season at FC Dallas Stadium Sunday, Mar. 11, at 3:00 pm ET. Fans can watch all the action live on NBC Sports.