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Red Bulls to have full squad for Champions League quarters

Jesse Marsch rested key players in New York's MLS season opener to ensure their availability on Tuesday.
Marc Rzatkowski. (Photo; Getty Images)

HANOVER, N.J. – After resting nearly his entire Starting XI this past weekend, New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch should be able to give it a full go on Tuesday. He’ll need all his options as the Red Bulls look to finish off Tijuana in the second leg of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal round.

Most notable among the players who were in question but should be fit, the Red Bulls could have Marc Rzatkowski available from the whistle, the German midfielder having left midway through the first half of the first leg of what proved to be a resounding 2-0 win at Tijuana. Rzatkowski — along with nearly the rest of the starting lineup — did not play Saturday night in the Red Bulls 4-0 home-opening win over the Portland Timbers. The Red Bulls didn’t miss a beat without him in MLS play, but they’ll need the talented German if they are to advance in the Champions League.

The 28-year old Rzatkowski, a central midfielder, looked very sharp in the Red Bulls advancing over Olimpia earlier in the Champions League. He was seen on Saturday night in the Red Bulls locker room following their win and his leg injury was not evident as he walked around briskly.

“He’ll be ready to go, everyone is fully healthy so that’s good for us,” Marsch said on Monday before training.


Saturday night’s win was impressive by the Red Bulls, especially considering that they fielded a starting XI made up of nearly reserve players. Featured in the game was Alejandro Romero Gamarra, the freshly-signed Argentine midfielder.

Gamarra featured as a No. 10 and assisted on the game’s opening goal, sending a cross to the back post that was finished nicely by the 17-year-old Ben Mines.

Showing good touch and creativity, Gamarra might be the central playmaker that the Red Bulls have been clamoring for in what has been more than a decade of waiting. Nicknamed "Kaku," Gamarra could be an option for Tuesday night despite a quick turnaround from this past weekend.

The Red Bulls will be without Sean Davis, who is suspended for Tuesday’s tilt due to yellow card accumulation.

“The good news we got Kaku more minutes but didn’t push him too hard so he could be available for tomorrow. We got a lot of rest from a lot of guys and everybody is healthy right now so I literally have a full compliment of players to chose from which is a luxury,” Marsch said. “Whoever we put on the field will be ready and everyone is available. I’m not giving the lineup.” 

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