HANOVER, N.J. – Arguably the New York Red Bulls most dynamic player on the pitch for much of this summer, Daniel Royer appears to be closing in on a return to full health. In fact, he might just be ready to get minutes this weekend at the Chicago Fire in a match with massive playoff implications.
Royer was injured one month ago in a 3-2 loss at New York City FC, suffering a knee injury that derailed his blistering hot summer. In fact, Royer was named the top player in MLS for the month of July by the league, the Austrian international putting together some of the best performances of his career since joining the league last season.
On Tuesday, Royer did individual ball work with a member of the training staff, a good sign for the upcoming slates of matches.
“Danny is making great progress. We’re trying to be aggressive with him because obviously, we have big games coming up one after another,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said on Tuesday. “He’s still a little hesitant because he still feels something. But he’s making great progress so hopefully by the end of the week he’s in training and then we can think about factoring him in for the upcoming games.”
That includes the chance that Royer will make progress and be available for selection for that match against the Fire.
“Yeah, I think there’s a possibility. We’ll see,” Marsch said. “We obviously don’t want to risk further injury, but he’s an important guy and we need to get him going and for big upcoming matches get him fit and ready to go.”
– Defender Aurélien Collin will be getting checked on Wednesday for the plantar fasciitis that has sidelined him the past month. Marsh is optimistic that the central defender will begin training this week.
– Gideon Baah, out for the year with a knee injury, could be joining the USL squad soon to get match fitness and sharpness as well as provide a boost to a team that is closing in on a playoff berth. Once-capped by Ghana, Baah is ineligible to play this year in MLS due to his injury designation but can play with the New York Red Bulls II in the USL.
– The Red Bulls are closing in on the US Open Cup final at the end of the month and have a difficult choice to make for their Starting XI. Goalkeeper Luis Robles hasn’t started a match in the tournament, the ‘Ironman’ holds the record for most consecutive matches played in MLS history. But Ryan Meara has started every match of the tournament so far and been solid, also putting in a good shift on Saturday for the team’s USL squad.
“I’ve been straight with both Ryan and Luis that we haven’t made a decision yet on who is going to play in that game. It’s a big one that we have to make,” Marsch said. “Ryan’s earned every chance to continue to play in a big final and Luis is a big player for us, a big leader and a big goalkeeper. So we have to make a decision at some point and it’s not going to be an easy one.”
“I know that they’ll both respect the decision that gets made and they’ll both be respectable of each other. But I promise you that decision hasn’t been made yet.”