MLS- Real Salt Lake

Red Bulls trade Kovalenko, waive Doe


The Red Bulls cleaned house on Thursday, shipping midfielder Dema Kovalenko to Real Salt Lake and waiving Liberian forward Francis Doe.

James Edward of the Deseret Morning News reported on Thursday evening that Kovalenko was traded to RSL for an undisclosed 2010 draft pick. Team officials would not confirm the trade of Kovalenko, who was not at the team’s practice at the Giants Stadium practice bubble on Thursday. Doe was not at practice on Thursday either.

If the trade is complete, Kovalenko’s departure had as much to do with salary cap issues as with his performance in pre-season. According to team sources, Juan Carlos Osorio made the decision to keep Seth Stammler and deal Kovalenko, who made close to $200,000 in 2007. The Red Bulls see Stammler, Claudio Reyna and rookie Luke Sassano filling the defensive/holding midfield roles while an unidentified transfer target is expected to fill the starting attacking midfielder role with Reyna serving as his back-up.

Whether it was RSL or some other club, the Red Bulls had every intention of trading Kovalenko before the start of the season. The Red Bulls had offered Kovalenko as part of a trade offer to the Chicago Fire for disgruntled defender Wilman Conde but that deal was rejected.

Doe’s departure helps reduce the numbers in a congested stable of forwards that includes Juan Pablo Angel, Jozy Altidore, Oscar Echeverry, John Wolyniec, Jerrod Laventure and trialists Ricky Schramm and Chris Megaloudis. Doe had endured a disappointing preseason and did little to impress Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who tried to trade Doe before being forced to release him.

The moves free up a considerable amount of cap room the Red Bulls are expected to use on as many as three players the club is trying to sign. The Red Bulls are in search of a central defender, left winger and playmaking midfielder, with attacking midfielder the position the mostly to be filled before the April 15 MLS transfer window deadline.

Kovalenko gives Real Salt Lake a tough and experienced defensive midfield option who should step in and start either as a second defensive midfielder next to Kyle Beckerman in a 3-5-2 or as a right winger in a 4-4-2. It remains unclear whether he will renegotiate his salary to play for RSL.

What does the Kovalenko deal mean for the club’s chances of acquiring Conde? Not much. Chicago did not express much interest in Kovalenko and appear determined to try to hold on to Conde.

So who might be next to go? Wing midfielder Dave Van Den Bergh is a strong candidate to be traded or waived in the coming weeks.

In other Red Bulls news, rookie left winger David Roth will miss three to four months after surgery to repair a knee injury suffered in last week’s match against Hammarby.

What do you think of these moves? Share your thoughts below.

  • Jamie Z.

    Steve, I went to Greece Athena (Class of ’97). My parents are from Brockport and I still have family there. I know the town like the back of my hand. Small world!


  • Gerald

    When the league starts averaging 20K+ fans in their own SSS then we can start talking about a 6-7 million dollar salary cap. In the meanwhile I would be happy with 3-3.5 Million.


  • TK

    Why are so many down on this?

    Dema is clearly on the downside. Nice to have, but not neccessary.
    Never impressed with Doe. Typical, I show you a couple of decent moves in 5 minutes and dissappear for the rest. I’m sure he and Dema were offered as trade bait everywhere. They were ignored. Hmm, why is that?

    Watterrus and Schopp gone to retirement. Good. Really good.

    Mathis. Clint is Clint. Let’s face it. Unless you have a luxury part of the cap for him is there a point other tha to appease the Clint nostagia worshippers.

    The guy wanted cap space. He has it. Now is the time for him to earn his pay check.

    I am not gonna miss any of the players who left. The players they are now, not what thye were.

    JCO – earn your paycheck.


  • inkedAG

    What a dumba$$ friggin move!!! Dema was one of the few players that fought pretty much every minute of every game!!

    What I really wanted to say could not be posted to this board!!


  • jevanvoo

    I’m with sublicon on this one : ( The only bright spot is maybe Dima will break Reyna’s leg when we play RSL, and we can concentrate on signing a DP who can do more than just the little things.


  • Bthing

    Thank you Red Bulls.

    Can’t imagine how Reyna is going to stack up against Beckerman and Dema. They will eat him alive.


  • Jaxxy

    wow, some crazy comments in here. Dema is a serviceable player but not indispensible. i grant that he is the kind of player you hate to play against but osorio clearly has a style of tactics that he wants to implement – let’s give him a chance to do this. it’s not as if osorio gave up on altidore!

    besides, and think of this – benny feilhaber is making a lot of noise about coming to MLS. granted he’s overvalued himself but 200k is not chickenfeed while he re-establishes his pro credentials.

    not saying it’ll happen, but…..!




    Kovalenko could barely get into the match squad at the very mediocre FC Metalurg who usually hover around 8th-10th place in the Ukrainian league. You may draw your own conclusions.

    I am sorry to see him go, incidentally. He was a good player for us. Blame the idiotic salary cap for forcing teams to get rid of their best players.


  • Paul Camarda

    I don’t understand this move at all. I though kovalenko was the was the best defensive midfield we had last year I thought he was the heart and soul of our team. He was one of the few red bulls willing to give 100%. He even went out there and played with a broken nose. I can’t believe we just cut doe after Bruce Area went through all the work to sign him last season and the new contract we just signed with him now. I just don’t know how these decision are going to benfits Red Bull in the future. I consider Kovalenko and Doe to be good players and assets to our team in the past. I’m kind of shocked to see them go and even more disspointed at the fact they both leave with practically nothing in return. I don’t think this is wise management on red bull’s parts and I think they are probably going to regret this in the future desicion.


  • Paul Camarda

    I okay one thing to let them, but doesn’t it bother you a little a the fact we didn’t get anything in return. Don’t you feel somewhat short changed. Don’t you think Red Bull could done some thing better.


  • JO

    I played against Megaloudis in High School and he was quite a handful. Strong, quick and an excellent finisher with either foot. He could be a great find.


  • Eugene


    I feel very short changed on Kovalenko. Even if the team decided he was surplus next year, they should have gotten more than an unspecified 2010 draft pick. Red Bull could have indicated their willingness to move Kovalenko while they went out and picked up the players they needed (going over the cap, since they don’t yet need to be cap compliant) and some other team may have come in before the deadline and given something of value for him. Note the Vanney trade to LA for Quavas Kirk. DC didn’t need Vanney and made it known, but they didn’t rush to ship him off and waited until another team was desperate and willing to make a good deal for him.

    No one can tell me that Vanney is more “valuable” than Kovalenko. This poor decision on Red Bull’s part screams bad management, in my opinion.

    They could have done the same with Doe as well. Even so, I would have preferred they keep the 22 year old striker and dealt Woly. Doe didn’t look amazing last year, but he definitely looked like he had some potential. What would it have hurt Red Bull to put some effort into developing Doe and playing him in the US Open Cup, for example? He didn’t have to be starter, but he was an asset the team gave away for nothing.


  • Tim Foisie

    Thanks Dema!!! We will miss you!!! Fans appreciate that you are in the top group of players who really care and give a lot of yourself.


  • LiberateMetro

    The important thing to focus on is that the squad is being weakened. Dema was a fighter and will be missed, but age wasn’t doing him any favors. What is alarming is that young developmental players are simply being cast off. How much promise did Chris Karcz have? I suppose we’ll never know. I think it is arrogant for Osorio to come in and claim he knows better than the whole rest of the club did when they saw promise in these young players. One person posted that there is an age limit for developmental players. If the players were past this, then these decisions make sense and had the club’s best welfare at heart. If not the decisions are rather stupid. We’ve been trading away draft picks as an organization for quite some time. And we lost our first rounder this year just to retain Osorio as manager. Maybe the reserve team players weren’t going to tear up the league, but at least they were depth. Caccavale, Camp, Doe, Karcz, Ikangu, Patterson. I find it insufferable that Osorio has pronounced himself fit to decide they should all go, when the club committed the resources of staff and wages to retain them. Who will play in the reserves? The Academy U-14s? (No disrespect intended to our youth teams who have given good account of themselves. Shame about the way they got rid of Savarese though.) I have a bad feeling that Metro will always be run by egomaniacs that ruin things for years at a time by insisting that their absolute vision is the only possible formula for success. Osorio had better be as good as his press. If not, I hope the ESC run him out of town, and Red Bull with him.


  • Frimp

    Let’s hope JCO is on the right track…either way, best of luck to Dema, he was the kind of player any team would want (agree moreso before the car wreck) and especially the kind I like to see busting caps in the swamp.


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