MLS- New York Red Bulls

Red Bulls update: Cepero on loan, Conde still unhappy and the attacking midfielder position

Good morning Red Bulls fans. You don’t have an MLS game to look forward to this weekend but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some news to tide you over this morning. The Red Bulls are in Carolina to take on the RailHawks in their final pre-season tune-up before the April 5 opener against Columbus.

While you wait for tonight’s match to take place, and yes, it is being aired on www.USLlive.com tonight, here are some news, notes and observations on the Red Bulls.

Cepero going on loan


If you were wondering why the Red Bulls signed two goalkeepers to developmental contracts, wonder no more. Danny Cepero is set to leave the Red Bulls and go on loan to the Harrisburg City Islanders of the USL second division. The Red Bulls feel Cepero has a bright future and wants him to get some games under his belt, which would have been difficult this year with Jon Conway and Zach Thornton in front of him.

The one drawback about the arrangement is the fact that the Red Bulls have to keep him signed to a developmental roster to keep the loan arrangement in tact, which means that is one less developmental slot the team has. Caleb Patterson-Sewell will serve as the club’s third-string goalkeeper.

Conde still isn’t happy in Chicago


Chicago Fire defender Wilman Conde has not given up on his desire to join Juan Carlos Osorio with the Red Bulls. According to the Chicago Tribune’s Luis Arroyave, Conde is nearing clubhouse cancer territory by continuing to make an issue of his trade demands.

When Conde first expressed his desire to leave Fire and join the Red Bulls it was unclear just what lengths he would go to in order to have his wish granted. Now it appears he is ready to continue letting his unhappy be known.

So why does the Fire seem intent on ignoring Conde’s request? According to sources in Chicago, it boils down to Chicago Fire owner Andrew Hauptman making it clear that the team will not, under any circumstances, deal Conde to the Red Bulls.

Chicago is so intent on not letting a Conde-Osorio reunion happen that the Fire actually balked at a trade it was working on with another MLS team that would have sent Conde packing in exchange for an established striker. According to sources, Chicago feared that the Fire’s trade partner would then turn around and deal Conde to the Red Bulls so the trade fell apart.

On Tuesday, Osorio told SBI that since it has become clear that a trade for Conde isn’t going to happen, the Red Bulls have moved on to other options. Just what Conde will do when the Red Bulls sign another option remains to be seen, but it wouldn’t shock me if Conde never plays another game for the Fire.

Attacking midfielder not a priority

If you have noticed that Osorio has not said a thing about the club going after an attacking midfielder in the transfer market, it is because the club believes the combination of Claudio Reyna and Mike Magee can handle those duties, especially if the club fills its needs on the left wing and in defensive midfield.

"We believe they have done well in pre-season and if we can sign the players we are looking at, they will be in an even better position to succeed," Osorio said.

The logic boils down to Osorio believing that if he can secure a tough, ball-winning defensive midfielder who can pass well, score a few goals and provide an effective link between the defense and the attack to play alongside Seth Stammler and behind Reyna, that Reyna or Magee will have the freedom to create and distribute effectively.

Will the system work? Reyna and Magee have done well to deliver passes in the pre-season but have actually been victims of poor finishing from the team’s forwards, including Juan Pablo Angel.

Current and former Red Bulls/Metros lead Puerto Rico

Former MetroStar and USL Puerto Rico Islander midfielder Petter Villegas netted the game-winner to lift Puerto Rico to a World Cup qualifying victory against the Dominican Republic. Newly-signed Red Bulls forward Chris Megaloudis played 90 minutes for Puerto Rico.

If you’re asking yourself, "Hey, isn’t Villegas Ecuadorian?", you are right. Villegas was naturalized after playing for the Islanders.

Another one-time MetroStar, recent Toronto FC signing Marco Velez, also started for Puerto Rico.

  • aristotle

    I’d like to make a few very wise comments. :)

    Ives: Please change the name of this column from Red Bulls Update to NYRB and Chicago Fire fans free for all. Maybe we could have an England style soccer riot when the two teams meet for the first time this season. Winners get Conde.

    You could see the Claudio Reyna as attacking/creative midfielder thing coming for a while. I’m surprised so many NYRB fans are against this. I understand if you think he is going to play on a similar level to last year, but if he is going to do that, why do you want him on the team at all? I think him playing attacking/creative mid-fielder makes a lot more sense than him being a defensive mid-fielder. He’s to old and defensive mid is too demanding for him. Furthermore, CR’s natural position was always creative mid. Even if he is only able to play at half the level he did when he was creative mid on the USMNT in his glory days, he would still be one of the better creative/attacking mids in this league. This is the most difficult position to fill in the league. How many great attacking/creative mids are there in MLS? Let’s see there’s Beckham, Gomez, DeRosario, and then there’s……uh.., I guess I can’t think of anymore. Isn’t that why we’re so anxious to have the whiny and petulant Guevara back in the league? I think this is the only position Reyna could play to be a big help to NYRB. Assuming he didn’t stink last year because his career is over and he simply can’t play anymore. I would be more concerned about the players behind Altidore/Angel/Reyna. Especially without Richards or Freeman. Yuck!


  • aristotle

    One more thing:

    Dema Kovalenko? NYRB’s got to do better than that. Sure he might be able to play a LITTLE better than CR did last year, but who wants that? Dema’s time has passed.


  • David Berger

    I am happy that Cepero is being loaned out. He wouldn’t have played a single minute this year.


  • aristotle

    Since I seem to be by myself, I’ll make another post!

    Would I be correct in saying most posters here, regardless of what they think about NYRB’s team, believe the NYRB are much better than the L.A. Galaxy?

    I think people may be exaggerating how bad the Galaxy are. I would go so far as to say that if I were a coach I would rather have the Galaxy mid-field and front line than that of NYRB.

    Sure Altidore/Angel is a better front line, but combine the two segments of the teams, and I think the Galaxy’s could be better.

    I think a mid-field of Vagenas, Klein, Donovan, and Beckham beats NYRB’s present mid-field of Stammler, DVB, Sassano/Richards, Reyna/Magee, or whatever they use. I think this more than makes up for the deficit of Buddle/Gordon and Ruiz against Altidore/Angel. Then there’s the fact that I think Cronin is a better goalkeeper than Conway. So that just leaves the defense. The Galaxy’s defnse definitely looks shaky, but it’s not like NYRB is a defensive powerhouse. At the very least the Galaxy will have a lot of experience at the back with Xavier, Vanney, and Jazic.

    Am I wrong?


  • Sandro

    brett – No I am a Red Bull fan. I just dislike when players sign a contract and then want out. Conde sign a contract, so he needs to honor it.

    Red Bull all the way. I would want Conde because to me his loyalty lies with the coach and not the team.


  • papa bear

    @Posted by: jerry | March 28, 2008 at 12:46 PM

    other than an MLS cup title, 4 US Open Cups and a Supporter’s Shield trophy and doing the Double, yeah, they haven’t done much. /sarcasm I believe DC is the only team with more silverware in their trophy case.

    Dude, Chicago is holding up the deal because they are investigating a tampering angle, which will no doubt be proven true. Once that’s settled and we are compensated, then you can expect to see Conde move. Simple.


  • irishapple21

    Wow, Fire fans are really bitter. And that’s coming from a Red Bulls fan.


  • Tim F.

    This will continue to bite the Fire. Serves them right. Conde the Red Bulls want you!!!!


  • brett

    irishapple21- bitter?? na, we are just holding people to their words…

    Tim F- why does this serve the fire right?? b/c they expect people to actually live up to their contracts??


  • Jerry Nowak

    Reyna and McGee playing positions they have never played effectively is rediculous. The coach and management are out of their minds. We have Clint and let him go. A great passer with extensive experience. This coach is not very smart to open the season without a seasoned number 10. So what else is new.



  • Dan-D

    Never ceases to amaze me how grown adults act like children. If conde is not happy in Chicago, then let him do what he wants. He is not going to produce results for your club, if he is not happy. Remember Leverkusen and Donovan. We remember Donovan? He the guy who refuses to use indoor plubming.Shame,Shame. My point Leverkusen let him move on. So should Chicago and Conde.


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