Jesse Marsch on Aurelien Collin (above):  “He’s close to ready to go. And we’re hopeful that he will be. I think he’ll be a big boost for our group.” (Photo courtesy of MLS)

HANOVER, N.J. — Jesse Marsch says it will be a game-time decision on whether center back Aurelien Collin will play against the New England Revolution in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup in Boston Thursday night.

Collin recently returned from a leg injury and he acquitted himself well in the 3-2 MLS win at the Revolution July 5.

But the Red Bulls head coach and his staff wanted to err on the right side of caution about his veteran defender.

“We’re continuing to try to monitor him,” Marsch told reporters after practice at the Red Bulls Training Facility Tuesday. “He was training earlier in the week. I thought today, given the balance of the week, the best thing for him was to get a light workout. We went through things tactically and he watched a little bit. If he can be ready for the start, he’ll be ready to go.”

Collin has been the Red Bulls’ best option at one of the center back slots. He gives the team a physical presence in the middle of the defense. He might get a red card or two during the season and have to miss another game due to a yellow-card suspension, but it is worth it in the long run.

“I think he’s where he should be and it’ll be a game-time decision,” Marsch said. “It’s partly physically where he’s at, sharpness, fitness, the whole bit. Listen, we will error on the side of giving him a shot if he’s close to ready to go. And we’re hopeful that he will be. I think he’ll be a big boost for our group.”

Center back Damien Perrinelle also had a light day Tuesday.

“Damien was in the same thing,” Marsch said. “He had a good week. We just felt with both those guys the way to handle them today was to give them lighter loads so that they’re ready to push on Thursday.”

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at