UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. — On Wednesday night, the New York Red Bulls were missing four regulars in the win over Toronto FC. Even without the likes of goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul and new designated player Rafa Márquez in the lineup, the Red Bulls still pulled together for a gutsy and gritty win.
But they'd rather not have to rely on such efforts against the LA Galaxy on Saturday.
“I think everyone will be available,” Backe told the media on Friday after training.
Of the four players called up for international duty, only left back Roy Miller was absent from Friday’s training session.
“[Miller’s flight] came in at 4 a.m.," Backe said. "I talked to him; he said, ‘I feel OK.' If he feels OK [Saturday], he’ll play.”
According to the club, Miller participated in regeneration and, along with the other players who had a midweek international fixture, will talk with Backe on Saturday morning to determine their viability for the match. Coundoul should be back in the nets as the starter against the Galaxy and midfielder Dane Richards isn’t a concern for Backe.
“Dane, with his light body doesn’t get killed after a Wednesday game, the travel,” Backe said.
After playing 45 minutes on Wednesday night, striker Thierry Henry participated in full training.
Backe thinks that the recent run of form of the team, coupled with their new signings, means the club can fare well against a Los Angeles side that is top of the table. The Red Bulls have lost earlier games against MLS' top clubs, falling to East leaders Columbus twice. But Backe thinks the team’s mentality will be different on Saturday.
“We went out shaky in the [Columbus] game],” Backe said, adding he couldn’t figure out why the nerves. “We can’t get relegated in this league.
Irving Garcia did some fitness work after missing the past few weeks due to injury. Backe said he recently had an injection in his groin. ... Jeremy Hall returned to the field for the first time in several weeks, running laps and stretching. ... Saturday will pit captain against captain as Mexico’s Márquez and the United States’ Landon Donovan square off at Red Bull Arena. “Great player,” Márquez said of Donovan. “People love him here in the United States. I have a lot of respect for him.”
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012