By DAN KARELL
With the Montreal Impact’s hot start and the superstar names on the New York Red Bulls, one might have expected a game filled with goals, cameras flashing, and a match that would be a perfect advertisement for Major League Soccer.
Instead, injuries have clouded the bright lights that were shining on Quebec’s largest city.
Montreal assistant coach Mauro Bello announced on Tuesday that starting defender Alessandro Nesta would be out for 15-20 days, while the Red Bulls announced that captain Thierry Henry suffered a sprained MCL, ruling him out for at least Saturday’s match, if not more.
“It was one of those things that I was very seriously leaning towards not even bringing him to Montreal, but no decision was final yet because we had a week from the D.C. game to the next game,” Red Bulls coach Petke said. “But this is very ideal for me not to have him play on turf with his Achilles’ tendon.
“It’s not ideally how it worked out but it did work out.”
The two teams met last July for the first time in MLS, when Nesta made his competitive debut for Montreal in a 3-1 win for the Canadian side. The injury news comes on Nesta’s 37th birthday.
Both Montreal and New York were already set to miss players for this Saturday’s match. Tim Cahill (Australia) and Roy Miller (Costa Rica) were called up from the Red Bulls, and Sanna Nyassi (Gambia) was called up from Montreal.
In other news from Red Bulls camp, Petke has said that Juninho will play, but he has not disclosed whether the 38-year-old Brazilian will start. The match on Saturday will be played in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, which has a turf playing surface. It will be the Red Bull’s second turf match of the early season.
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