UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The New York Red Bulls will make their first visit to Livestrong Sporting Park this Sunday to take on Sporting Kansas City in a battle between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference (9 pm ET; ESPN 2, Live Chat on MLSsoccer.com). They will do so without Thierry Henry.
The Red Bulls captain was absent from training on Friday morning as New York continued preparations for conference-leading Sporting KC, and head coach Hans Backe told reporters afterwards that it was because of an addition to the family.
“He’s got a baby boy yesterday so he will not be in for the Sunday game, but will be in on Monday before the D.C. [United] game,” said Backe.
While Henry will miss his eighth game of the regular season against KC, newcomer Lloyd Sam could make his debut. Backe said the recently-acquired midfielder has received his visa and will be on the gameday roster for the KC clash.
“With five hours time difference [in England], if we’re lucky, he could perhaps arrive tonight,” said Backe. “If not, he goes direct to Kansas City.”
Marquez down in Mexico
Rafa Marquez will not be available for the Red Bulls this weekend, but Backe said he is likely to rejoin the team on Friday night. Marquez has spent the last few days with a Red Bulls trainer in Mexico, where he further rehabbed his problematic left calf with a hyperthermia treatment machine. The Red Bulls did not have one.
Marquez is expected to return in time for New York’s first match following the international break in early September.
“We really work hard now to get Rafa fully fit and back for the September 15 game,” said general manager and sporting director Erik Soler. “I think there’s a good chance for that.