UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Playing two games in five days might normally force a head coach to make some changes to his lineup in an effort to avoid fielding fatigued players, but that might not be the case for Hans Backe this week.
The New York Red Bulls head coach said Monday he has not ruled out starting the same 11 players in Wednesday’s pivotal Eastern Conference match against Sporting Kansas City (7 pm ET; watch LIVE online) that started in this past Saturday’s 3-1 triumph over the Columbus Crew. And that would be quite the change for a team that has had trouble putting together a consistent lineup throughout an injury-riddled season.
“Everyone looks quite fresh, I must say,” Backe told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s only Wilman [Conde], picked up probably just a bruise and will train tomorrow, but everyone looks fresh. I think it’s definitely a possibility to play the same lineup.”
Backe added that Rafa Márquez would also be available to start despite Saturday marking his first game in more than a month, and he even indicated that the Mexican Designated Player could be in store for a full shift against Sporting KC.
“I don’t think we need to look into [measuring his minutes],” said Backe. “If you do 55, 60, then you can probably almost do 90 even if it’s a midweek game.”
Backe also revealed that Joel Lindpere will undergo a scan on the wrist he injured against the Crew on Monday afternoon, but he should be available for Wednesday’s match regardless. Lindpere trained on Monday with some heavy tape over his left wrist.