Red Bulls, Henry set for huge match against TFC

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 8:53 PM ET

Harrison, NJ - Red Bull New York should have Thierry Henry in the starting lineup Wednesday against Toronto FC, but Rafael Marquez will miss the Major League Soccer match while on international duty with Mexico.

New York's two recent designated player signings were on the field together on Sunday for the first time in a 0-0 tie against the Chicago Fire, but Henry was pulled off the field in the first half by coach Hans Backe.

Henry is expected to return to the lineup despite the early exit just days ago for precautionary reasons. Backe saw Henry grasp his upper leg, and the French star is questionable for the Toronto match with a slight groin injury.

Marquez played just 16 minutes into the second half, and will now wait to make his home debut at Red Bull Arena until Saturday, when the Los Angeles Galaxy visit. He will captain Mexico in a friendly against World Cup winner Spain on Wednesday.

Backe will definitely have original designated player Juan Pablo Angel, who is second in MLS with 11 goals, and plans to start Henry as well after he trained on Tuesday.

"Henry can play," Backe said. "It's just tight muscles, like a cramp."

Henry played last season at Barcelona and was on France's roster for the World Cup, but has not played a full 90 minutes since February. Backe will continue to let Henry regain full fitness before pushing the 32-year-old too hard.

New York (8-6-4) is second in the Eastern Conference behind the Columbus Crew, but holds just a two-point cushion against third-place Toronto (7-6-5).

The Red Bulls have tied both matches with Henry, the other a 2-2 draw against the Houston Dynamo, but he will make his home MLS debut against Toronto. New York is 5-2-1 at home, and Toronto has struggled with six losses in eight road games.

Toronto beat Chivas USA, 2-1, on Saturday to snap a three-game winless streak, and could put itself in good position for its first-ever postseason appearance with a rare road win at New York.

TFC will be without defender Dan Gargan, who will serve a one-match suspension for accumulated yellow cards. In addition, Martin Saric and Maicon Santos will miss the match with injuries, leaving Preki without a number of key options in the key clash.


Photos