Red Bulls without Venezuelan duo for RSL match

Publish date:

The New York Red Bulls will be shorthanded for an important road match on Oct. 9 at Real Salt Lake due to international duties.

Midfielder Jorge Rojas and defender Gabriel Cichero have been called up by the Venezuelan national team for their upcoming 2010 World Cup qualifiers against Brazil on Oct. 12 and Ecuador on Oct. 15.

Rojas, 31, is the Venezuelan national team's captain. He has made 86 appearances, scoring three goals. He joined the Red Bulls in July and has four assists for the club in seven matches. Cichero, 24, has 12 previous caps for the Venezuelan national team. He has become a staple in the Red Bulls defense since joining the club on loan in July.

The call-ups come at a tough time for New York, which has just five games left and is fighting for one of the league's final playoff spots. With Dave van den Bergh out two to three weeks due to sports hernia surgery, Red Bull can ill-afford to lose any more key players.

The recent additions of Macoumba Kandji and Matthew Mbuta figure to play large roles for the Red Bulls as they continue to push for their sixth consecutive playoff berth.