Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - A pair of former MLS teammates will square off
as coaches at BMO Field on Saturday when Red Bull New York faces Toronto FC.
New York's Mike Petke and Toronto's Ryan Nelsen played together at D.C. United
for two seasons until they both departed the club in 2005.
Both men have transitioned to the sidelines where they have their respective
sides enjoying impressive runs of form.
The Red Bulls come into the contest on the back of a resounding 4-1 victory
over the New England Revolution last weekend, a result that certainly was
welcomed by the players.
"I think we've been kind of waiting all year for that offensive explosion and
to do it against a team that has been the best in the league defensively ...
it feels pretty good," said Dax McCarty.
McCarty has been one of New York's most consistent players throughout the
start of the season, but the club will be without his services for the next
couple of weeks as he recovers from a quad injury.
"Dax will be out, the word right now, two weeks," said Petke after Thursday's
session. "He has a slight tear in his quad. It's a small little tear, so [the
medical staff] are only saying two to two-and-a-half weeks."
The Red Bulls have the attacking options necessary to cope with McCarty's
absence, but Thierry Henry stressed how big of blow the midfielder's injury
"It's not an easy one to deal with but it's the story of our season
sometimes," Thierry Henry told MLSsoccer.com. "You miss some players and you
have to make sure that you can adapt and adjust. But obviously missing Dax is
difficult because he is a big piece of our puzzle."
With Juninho also set to miss the clash at BMO Field through suspension, it
may prove to be Toronto's best chance at taking points off of the Red Bulls.
Toronto has drawn four straight matches in league play, but the Canadian club
is coming off of a midweek victory over the Montreal Impact in the Canadian
That result has given Nelsen confidence in playing any combination of players.
"I know now that I have 22 players who can put on a Toronto shirt and play at
any level," Nelsen said after the match. "We played a lot of young players
today and they did a lot of solid hard work in the first half to set up their
solid performance in the second half."
The Sports Network