Defender Jan Gunnar Solli's return to the practice pitch is a promising sign, and hopefully the first of many more returns to come, for a Red Bulls team that continues to heal up a number of injuries.
Solli practiced with the team Thursday afternoon at Montclair State University and said he felt “100 percent” ready and fit for the coaches to consider him for Saturday’s match.
“I’ve been training two days now and felt good and today was the time to get back into playing and it felt good,” Solli said. “So, I’m ready to travel.”
Head coach Hans Backe has little concern that Solli’s fitness level isn't up to par.
“He’s a machine," Backe said. "Fitness wise that is a guy who is absolutely top fit, all year round.”
Frustrating as it was for Solli to miss a match, he was quick to agree it was a good decision to remain out of the line up, especially given the end result.
“I think it was a wise decision, after all, to skip the New England game,” Solli said. “Especially when we got away with the win and I’m very happy for all the guys. We didn’t concede any goals and it was a good performance and great to win the three points.”
“Now I’m just happy to be back and contributing and I’m going to do my best.”
The Red Bulls and Galaxy kick off Saturday at 8pm ET, the first and only regular season meeting between the two sides this season. Watch all the action live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and/or ESPN3.com. Fans can also listen live to the Red Bulls' Spanish broadcast on 1190 AM.