(photo by Matt Kremkau)
Good news for New York Red Bulls fans as Cristian Casseres Jr. and Alejandro Romero Gamarra may be available for selection thanks to charter flights for international players that will help clubs bypass quarantine measures. Players will still require COVID-19 tests before being allowed on a team, however this is a stark change from the process which would have made both Casseres and Kaku unavailable.
International breaks have wreaked havoc on MLS rosters due to quarantine restrictions but the league has agreed on chartered flights to avoid mandatory lock down procedures. This will be a boost for some clubs even though players will still be required to pass a physical and COVID-19 test.
For New York, they will regain two of their most important players. Kaku in particular was very effective, scoring in Paraguay's World Cup Qualifier and looking to be in his best form this season. Losing him would have been a major blow for the Red Bulls but now only a negative COVID test is all that stands in the way of him taking the field against Columbus.
As for Casseres, his inclusion means that New York will have even more depth in the midfield. The Red Bulls have spent much of 2020 trying to figure up the proper rotation of players and in doing so has proven to have depth in the midfield. Casseres, who many though would be a permanent starter, has found himself in an effective rotation that has guided the Red Bulls to yet another MLS Cup Playoff appearance.
Saturday's game against Columbus looks that much brighter for New York given the news. Both Kaku and Casseres are expected to be available barring health concerns and the Red Bulls will go in with near full strength against a streaking Crew team.