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.
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