Bouna Coundoul has been improving steadily under goalkeeper coach Des McAleenan.
Getty Images

RBNY Notebook: Bouna back; Rodgers & Henry?

UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Luke Rodgers partnered with Thierry Henry up top in the starting XI against the reserves at New York Red Bulls training on Thursday, perhaps a sign that Hans Backe would like to partner the Englishman and the Frenchman together in a game sometime soon.

Rodgers is a fast, highly mobile player who plays with an impressive engine. The former Notts County player starting would relegate fan favorite Juan Agudelo to the bench, but Backe sees a lot of competition up top.

“It’s very even between the guys,” the head coach said.

Bouna Time: After starting the past two games in place of goalkeeper Greg Sutton, who has been sidelined with a concussion, Bouna Coundoul will once again get the nod this Saturday against San Jose. (7:30 pm ET, Direct Kick and MatchDay Live)

“Bouna still,” Backe said. “[Greg] will probably need a couple more sessions.”


Danish Delight: Injured for the majority of his time last year since signing last spring, former Danish U-21 Brian Nielsen appears to be closing in on full fitness.

Nielsen finally has recovered from his knee surgery and sporting director Erik Solér said he anticipates the left-footer to “begin training in 10 days.” The winger will head to Denmark shortly to clear up his visa situation.

“He was loaned to us last year," Solér said "It will be a new loan deal.”

Summer Travel: Recent reports that the Red Bulls will participate in the Emirates Cup in England this summer aren’t backed up by comments from Solér, who declined to comment on the rumor for the time being.

The team has been linked to a European tournament played on the continent for more than a month and Solér indicated two weeks ago that major news on the topic was forthcoming.

Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at