FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The absence of captain Michael Mancienne (suspension) will test the New England Revolution’s backline depth in Saturday night’s meeting with Atlanta United FC, but just how far that depth will be tested might depend on the health of Antonio Delamea.
Delamea missed the Revolution’s trip to Columbus this past weekend with a knee injury, and while the 27-year-old is a natural replacement for Mancienne in central defense, it remains to be seen whether he’ll be healthy enough to feature against the defending MLS Cup champions.
“We’ll have to see,” head coach Brad Friedel said of Delamea’s availability for the weekend. “He was out on the field a little bit [on Tuesday]. We’ll see if there’s any reaction in how he feels, but we have a good enough squad to cope no matter what is thrown at us.”
When Mancienne was sent off with 25 minutes remaining at MAPFRE Stadium it was right back Andrew Farrell who slid into the middle to partner Jalil Anibaba, while Luis Caicedo came off the bench to deputize at right back.
Brandon Bye went the full 90 minutes at left back in Columbus, and he could be called upon again this weekend with Edgar Castillo still recovering from a calf injury.
“He was out on the field (on Tuesday), as well,” Friedel said, referencing Castillo. “He got stepped on and then tried to pull away, and had a slight calf issue. Hopefully he’ll be in the reckoning this weekend. If not, for sure come the Red Bull game (on April 20).”
There is good news for rookie forward Justin Rennicks, who has returned to full training after missing the past three games with a hamstring injury, which also cut short his time in U.S. Under-20 national team camp in late March.
“He was in training and looked good the last couple days,” Friedel said of Rennicks.
New England and Atlanta kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium (TICKETS), with coverage on NBC Sports Boston, 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2, and 1260 AM Nossa Radio USA.