BY DYLAN BUTLER
New York Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio addressed a number of topics in a conference call with beat writers ahead of tomorrow night's match against the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.
On the injury front, Osorio said Carlos Mendes (shoulder), Seth Stammler (knee) and Albert Celades (hamstring) are progressing well and each will be in contention on Saturday. Osorio said he also hasn't decided who will start in goal after Danny Cepero performed well against the San Jose Earthquakes in a Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup match on Wednesday.
Osorio, though, did say he was looking forward to a rematch with D.C. in the next round of qualification after the Red Bulls suffered a devesating defeat at home on Sunday.
"I want to play them again," Osorio said. "Every football game is different. We certainly could have and should have won the last game against them. Going into their place, I think it will be a good chance for us to progress into the Cup and to show that we can play with them or anyone else in the MLS."
A week ago, Osorio said he targeted Saturday's game against the Galaxy for Celades' return and that hasn't changed.
"He trained with us yesterday," Osorio said. "We did some tactical sessions with a lot of playing in it and he did very well. We're feeling confident he's on his way to full fitness."
The only question for Osorio is how many minutes Celades will be able to play. That's the reason Osorio said the Spanish midfielder was left off the game-day roster on Wednesday.
"I originally had him on the bench with the view to play him for the last 30 minutes. But then we went into discussions that if the game would have gone into overtime, then he would have ended up playing not 30, but maybe 60 (minutes). That's the reason he wasn't on the bench."
Osorio said he is also likely to bring Mendes and Stammler back into the fold.
"Carlos is improving. He practiced with the team yesterday and I think he's looking better," Osorio said. "Seth is also doing quite well. The medical department did something with him, it alleviated a lot of the problems he felt. He was feeling not so much pain, but uncomfortable. Now he feels a lot more at ease."