No healthy Atlanta United players will be held out of Sunday’s game against New York Red Bulls so that they can rest, manager Frank de Boer said Friday.
The Five Stripes have won five consecutive games, each by shutout, in a series of eight games in 28 days. Sunday’s game in Harrison, N.J. will be the sixth game in the series. It will be its third road game in the series and second of three consecutive, with Real Salt Lake on May 24.
Captain Michael Parkhurst and midfielder Darlington Nagbe didn’t travel with the team for its game against Vancouver on Wednesday. Parkhurst has nine appearances, including seven starts, in MLS this season. Nagbe had 10 appearances, including nine starts.
“We have to be ready for Red Bulls,” de Boer said.
If the team played May 22, de Boer said he would consider some rotation. De Boer said he thinks there will be enough time for rest and recovery between the game against Red Bulls and the one against Salt Lake.
“Physically we are in good shape, so I’m not worried about it,” de Boer said.
In addition to not playing Parkhurst and Nagbe against Vancouver, de Boer chose not to start centerback Miles Robinson and midfielder Julian Gressel. Both came on as subs.
Among the players who aren’t healthy are midfielder Brandon Vazquez and fullback George Bello.
De Boer said when he was a player, he liked playing every 3-4 days. He said travel while playing in MLS is more difficult than while playing in Europe, though. Parkhurst said he took a nap on his day off Wednesday.
“If we prepare them well and they do what we tell them with rest and good nutrition, you can deal with it,” de Boer said.
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