Photo by ISIphotos.com
While you can’t always assume you will see the exact starting lineup Juan Carlos Osorio will use by watching training, you can oftentimes get a glimpse into the possibilities he is considering. Based on this week’s training sessions, it appears that there is a strong likelihood that he will give a chance to reserve striker John Wolyniec.
The veteran forward hasn’t scored a goal this year in 19 appearances, and hasn’t made a start since the Red Bulls’ 1-1 tie vs. Chivas USA on June 28, but his physical presence, tireless work ethic and good understanding with Juan Pablo Angel could earn him a start agains the Dynamo.
"We have given opportunities to several players and I believe now is the time to turn to some new options," Osorio said. "John is in contention because he brings some different elements to the game.
"He is strong, he works hard and he and Juan (Pablo Angel) have a good understanding."
Osorio will ultimately have to decide between Wolyniec and hot-shot newcomer Mac Kandji, who has registered a goal and two assists in five matches since coming on loan from the USL’s Atlanta Silverbacks.
Mike Magee has fallen down the forwards pecking order after going cold following a nice goal-scoring streak in the late summer.
Pietravallo looking for some home cooking
Maybe it’s the artificial turf. Perhaps it’s the comfort of the locker room. For some reason Juan Pietravallo has enjoyed considerable success playing at home in his brief stint with the Red Bulls, while road games have been a bit of a nightmare.
At home this year, Pietravallo has helped shut down Houston’s Dwayne DeRosario in a 3-0 win against Houston on Aug.24 and forced D.C. United star Jaime Moreno to leave at halftime of the team’s 4-1 loss to the Red Bulls on Aug. 10. He also neutralized Real Salt Lake playmaker Javier Morales in the Red Bulls 2-1 win vs. Real Salt Lake on Sept. 13.
Things got much uglier after August, particularly on the road. He has been pulled early from multiple matches out of concerns about him drawing yellow and red cards.
"He has played better at home and not had as many goals go against him at home," Osorio said. "Whether it is referees having more leeway with him, or Juan being a bit more under control, his best games have been here and that must be considered."
For his part, Pietravallo is confident that he can deliver a good performance if called on.
"I know that some of my games have been better than others but I believe I can do the job if the coach calls on me," Pietravallo said. "Like with any player going to a new league, there is a time to adjust, but I feel I have shown that I can play."
With Seth Stammler out for the season, Osorio will need to turn to Pietravallo or else turn to an inexperienced midfielder in either Luke Sassano or Sinisa Ubiparipovic.
Stammler played two months with torn meniscus
In the wake of the news of Seth Stammler’s season-ending knee surgery has come the news that Stammler played two months with a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Stammler suffered the injury in late may and played at least nine matches with the injury, requiring a cortisone shot at one point to deal with the pain he was playing through. The pain became too much and finally forced him to leave the season-ending 5-2 loss to Chicago at halftime. He will now be out two to four months after having surgery on Thursday.
More than eight matches with a torn meniscus, and several of those matches with a bone bruise in the same knee. There aren’t many players who could have handled that, or who would have made that sacrifice, something Red Bulls fans are sure to remind him off when he returns to action in 2009.