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Vancouver Whitecaps continue tough road trip against New York Red Bulls

The Vancouver Whitecaps have some serious injury concerns when they head to New Jersey to face the New York Red Bulls Wednesday night

After their dramatic 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City, the Vancouver Whitecaps remain on the road and face the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night in Harrison, N.J.

The Whitecaps faced Atlanta United last Wednesday and then traveled straight to the American midwest for the come-from-behind draw on Saturday. 

Now, it will be all about recovery and looking forward to the next task ahead of the game against the Red Bulls.

“Recovery is essential,” Caps head coach Marc Dos Santos said. “There will be some rotation in the roster, for sure. We always said that everybody is important and stretches like that challenges the depth that we have and the type of character we have.” 

Injuries are the main concern for Dos Santos. 

During the SKC match, midfielder Felipe Martins had to leave the field after a brutal foul committed by SKC striker Krisztián Németh, who was sent off in the 53rd minute for his action.

Vancouver failed to take the most from the man advantage, and then lost defender Doneil Henry to a hamstring injury.

“Doneil [Henry], for sure is out. Yordy Reyna, Lass [Bangoura] — they are all out for this game,” Dos Santos said. “We are following up, and it is kinda day to day with Felipe.”

Felipe, however, is confident he can play Wednesday.

“If you ask me, I’m going to be ready,” he said.

Felipe played 125 games for the Red Bulls from 2015 to 2018 and has a special motivation to make the gameday roster.

“Of course, when you play your former team, it is always an extra motivation,” Felipe said. “I had an amazing time there, but I play for the Vancouver Whitecaps now, and we want to get the three points now.”

With games coming thick and fast and with long flights in between, injuries are a logical by-product.

“Injuries happen in stretches like that,” Dos Santos said. “It is very demanding, the schedule of MLS, and these injuries are going to happen, but it also tests the depth of your roster. 

New York beat Atlanta United 1-0 at home Sunday. That victory puts the Red Bulls (5-2-5, 17 points) in sixth place in the East after 12 games — not bad considering they had a slow start to the season.

“Some teams culturally are strong, and people go crazy when they don’t win three games in a row,” Dos Santos said about his next opponent. “New York Red Bulls, at Red Bull Arena, have a tradition to be strong. It is a team that is very aggressive in their play and their model. It is very clear what they do, all the way down to the academy. So we know what we face.”

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