Wilman Conde may have played in his first MLS game in
nearly three months on Sunday, but it appears he will not
make a second consecutive start for New York this week.
According to Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe, Conde is
likely to be rested for Wednesday's road game against the
Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place (11 pm ET; TSN in Canada,
MLS Live in the US) in
part because of New York's hectic stretch that includes
three games in eight days.
The oft-injured Colombian center back is coming off a
90-minute performance in
a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Fire, and with another game
against rivals D.C. United looming on Sunday, Backe seems
prepared to rest Conde versus the Whitecaps
"We know we have to be a little bit smart with Conde now,"
Backe told reporters on a conference call on Monday. "I
don't think he will be able to play three games in one
week. I'm quite sure he won't be playing Vancouver."
PEARCE NOT DE FACTO LEFT BACK
With Conde out on Wednesday, Backe said Heath Pearce could
fill in for him at center back. Pearce played there earlier
this season for New York and despite being a natural left
back, Backe does not consider him the de facto starter over
Roy Miller just yet.
"I can't say that Heath or Roy are the first choice playing
left back," Backe said. "But Heath is very versatile, he
can play three positions and we just need to be smart to
perhaps not take risks for the Wednesday game."
NO PROBLEMS WITH THE INTERNATIONAL BREAK
The Red Bulls looked rusty and out of sync in their defeat
to the Fire, but Backe wasn't willing to lay the blame on
the international break, despite having 24 days between
"I felt that we needed the break," he said. "I think
everyone was quite fatigued after all these games,
traveling was quite tough for everyone. I don't think it
should be any problem, we had around five days off to get
some energy back. … I would say the break was quite good
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES
Backe himself won't be at the Vancouver game as he
tends to personal matters. Assistant coaches Jan Halvor
Halvorsen and Mike Petke will take over managerial duties
at BC Place.
Mehdi Ballouchy will not travel to Vancouver because of
his on-going green card issues.
Less than 800 tickets remain for the Red Bulls' home game
against rivals D.C. United on June 24.
Backe continued to express confidence that Designated
Players Rafa Marquez and Thierry Henry would return from
their injuries against United, saying he was "100-percent
sure" the duo would be back in time.