The pulled hamstring suffered by Thierry Henry in the Red Bulls' 1-0 victory over Seattle last weekend has ruled him out of this week’s game against Columbus. “My body is not responding well,” Henry said to bigapplesoccer.com after the team's Thursday training session. “Maybe hopefully I will be back for the game against Houston.” New York plays Houston April 2.
His absence will further weaken the Red Bulls, which are missing four starters because of international duty: forward Juan Agudelo and defender Tim Ream (USA), defender Rafael Marquez (Mexico), and midfielder Dane Richards (Jamaica). Henry apparently suffered the injury shortly before he took and failed to convert a penalty kick against the Sounders, yet played the entire 90 minutes. Henry sat out training sessions Tuesday and Wednesday in hopes of playing against the Crew, which began its season with a dispiriting 3-1 loss to D.C. United.
Veteran Carlos Mendes will take one of the centerback spots; there aren’t a lot of candidates as his central partner, though Stephen Keel has some MLS experience with Colorado. Veteran Carl Robinson and Teemu Taino, who has played several positions during his pro career and manned the holding midfield slot last Saturday, are also possibilities.
New York, which waived forward Salou Ibrahim earlier this week, is also thin up front. Coach Hans Backe can use offseason signing Luke Rodgers up top, and has a handful of midfielders -- Mehdi Ballouchy, Tony Tchani, John Rooney, Joel Lindpere -– who can play as a second forward.