Knee injury keeps Rodgers out of opening playoff game

Rodgers (Getty Images)

Coping without a key player is nothing new for the New York Red Bulls, but they'll have to find a way to do so again in order to maintain hopes of a deep playoff run. 

Manager Hans Backe confirmed to reporters that Luke Rodgers won't be available for Wednesday night's wildcard playoff game at FC Dallas as he deals with a knee injury. Backe said that Rodgers received an injection in his knee and could be available for a training session on Friday if all goes well.

While Thierry Henry has carried the Red Bulls attack for much of the season, Rodgers' play has been integral to the team's success. New York went 1-3-7 without Rodgers this season, and that victory came in the season-opening match that occurred prior to him becoming eligible to play for the club. He scored nine goals this season, including one in a 1-0 New York victory at Dallas on Sept. 17.

"He's that very busy striker who can almost press the back four himself," Backe said. "His energy, work ethic, also the character — he's quite a tough guy, goes into tackles, scores goals. He lifts his teammates the way he runs and works." 

Without him available, Backe will pair either Dane Richards or Juan Agudelo alongside Henry.

What do you think of this development? How do you think this affects the outcome of Wednesday's match?

Share your thoughts below.

  • RB

    I think this development sucks! No offense to Dallas, but I imagine fans of lots of teams would generally prefer to see NY have to face LA. Off course they’d have to get by Dallas first in order to do that, though. And that 1 win all year without Rogers in the line-up is frightening…


  • Hush

    Nice! I plan on going to pizza hut park tomorrow for this match. The chances of Agudelo getting more minutes tomorrow are very high. The only reason I am attending this match is to watch Henry, Shea, GJ, Agudelo! Not a bad group of USMNT players and one SUPER Star futballer to watch for $20! ;)…. I’m catching the Rangers & Cardinals game at the wonderful bar upstairs at pizza park. 2 for 1!


  • Andrew

    Rodgers looked to be a combination of gassed and not himself for much of the 2nd half of the Philadelphia game yet Backe kept him on the pitch until stoppage time. Did he not know that his knee had been problematic? Not that using his subs would have definitely prevented Rodgers from being out for tomorrow’s game, but it seems very strange in retrospect to have him go 90.


  • shweazy

    Luke Rodgers gets way too much ratings IMO, every time Richards fills in at Striker he scores too. So NY wont suffer without Rodgers, they need to worry about keeping defensive shape and make sure no low shots are hit at slowpoke cough cough ROST lol.


  • shweazy

    IF you didnt get the memo yet, HANS BACKE is an idiot , proven by the fact that NY had the most talent at season start and barely made the play offs with it. no subs, late subs, dumb line ups, stupid strategies, idiotic trades, you name em, NY’s heads have done it all this season to mes up and promising team.


  • Bobby

    Ny won’t suffer? Ok, here is their record with him starting, subbed on & not playing at all:

    W/L/D Win %
    Starter: 9-4-7 45%
    Sub: 0-1-2 0%
    Didn’t play: 1-3-7 9%

    You’re right…no worries…idiot…


  • forget rodgers

    Good, because that english fatboy is a waste. now backe has to start agudelo. best news all day. don’t care what the numbers say.


  • Lisa NYC

    More than anything this year, Mini Me has been the good luck charm for the Red Bulls. It’s unfortunate that he won’t play. For all the USMNT fans, don’t expect to see Agudelo start. If he’s lucky, he’ll be subbed in 80th minute.


  • shweazy

    the stats do not tell the whole story, while Rodgers was out this season, NY was also suffering from Goalkeeper nightmares and defensive problems. There is a reason NY scores so many goals with or without Rodgers, the problem they have is defense not Rodgers being out, IDIOT. .


  • k

    Don’t like to hear it because I was hoping they could knock out LA as nobody else seams to be able to and I hate LA even more than I hate NY but almost every team will have injured players, it’s part of a long season.


  • Charles

    I want to see someone knock out LA too, but why does everyone assume NY is that team. They were mediocre at best this year. With really no shining moments outside of maybe, maybe a good start.

    Y’all have to be watching a different team than me all year long.


  • Poo

    right. also a good portion of his missing time was during the gold cup. Its not all rodgers. he is dangerous, and important, but those stats are inflated.


  • BB

    Who are you, Agudelo’s mom? The kid is young still and doesn’t score like Rodgers does. He’ll get his time but Rodgers is a major key for NYRB. Juan – not yet.


  • Juan Agudelo's Mom

    If you put all your faith in a guy who has been mediocre in MLS let alone his whole career in the lower english leagues, don’t even bother watching the game.


  • Joamiq

    If Agudelo was going to get major minutes, I might have more hope. But we all know Backe won’t play him more than 10 minutes regardless.


  • J-Mac

    You’re right stats don’t tell everything but if you watched RBNY much this year you would realize their attack has been MUCH more potent with Rodgers & Henry up top than any other partnership. Even if ignoring stats, goals, assists, etc. the difference with the two of them playing up front is obvious to anyone who knows the game.


  • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original

    NYRB will lose this game. Backe won’t start JA. And I doubt he gets 15 minutes. This year may have been the hardest to be a fan because the expectations were so high. How he gets away with never using any subs is beyond me. I wish some reporters would ask him about it and hold him accountable – but every article I read I don’t see the question.


  • Dimidri

    I was considering going-you can get midfield 3rd row seats for 20 bucks to see Henry, Shea, John, Marquez(celebrate his last MLS game for clarification), Agudelo, etc.? Seriously? Oh, and it’s a playoff agme? Done deal.


  • ThaDeuce

    just. to clarify, i don’t give a lick for the redbulls, but i do like agudelo. a win for me!


  • Rodney

    No, NY is still one of the most exciting teams to watch. They better come ready to play, unlike last year vs San Jose.


  • Rigo

    Good news for NY is that Jackson my not play for FCD. He has been fantastic in a subpar midfield this season.


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