Red Bulls practice report

Red Bulls practice report

MLS- New York Red Bulls

Red Bulls practice report

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Good afternoon all. I spent the morning at Red Bulls practice, hoping to get a sense of the state of the team as it heads into a much-needed bye week. There were no new players to mention, no trialists, just the same old faces trying to work out of a funk that has the Red Bulls in last place in the Eastern Conference.

Here is a rundown of what went down at training:

Gabriel Cichero was in training but still hasn’t been officially added to the squad. The team expects Cichero to be available for the Red Bulls next MLS match, against D.C. United on Aug. 10.

Former Houston forward Franco Caraccio was in training and I have to say that I don’t think he’s the player the Red Bulls are looking for.

Why? He isn’t particularly fast and isn’t that strong (Jeff Parke single-handedly must have knocked him off the ball about six or seven times). What the Red Bulls need is a speedy forward, someone who can stretch defenses and force opposing back-lines to provide some space. While Caraccio does have good feet and appears to pass well, I’m not sure he’s the answer.

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Hunter Freeman didn’t look particularly sharp today, particularly in the area of crossing. Freeman’s will see playing time because of his attacking qualities and these days he just isn’t looking very sharp. Is he distracted by the pre-contract talks with Norwegian club IK Start? Is he still getting over missing out on the Olympics? Whatever it is, Freeman needs to start playing better if the Red Bulls are going to be able to overcome the lengthy absence of Jamaican winger Dane Richards.

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Danleigh Borman was used exclusively up top today an he looks to be a candidate for emergency duty as a forward. The Red Bulls need speed up top and Borman can provide that. Whether he would work well as a second striker next to Juan Pablo Angel is another story.

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Brandon Poltronieri struggled today and still hasn’t signed a deal with the Red Bulls. At this point I would call it unlikely that he signs and it’s safe to say that the lack of progress on a deal has Poltronieri frustrated.

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Juan Pietravallo looked decent in training and it is clear he provides more bite than skill in central midfield. He was brought in to help provide some toughness for a midfield that needed some bite. It’s still too early to tell if he will work out but I think he struggled against San Jose early on before showing some improvement in the second half.

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I’m not sure if I’ve said it before but Zach Thornton has looked pretty sharp all season. I know there were some concerns about the Red Bulls signing him but he has proven to be a very good shot-stopper in training and with his experience I don’t think the Red Bulls would be in serious trouble if Jon Conway had to miss a match some matches.

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John Wolyniec did not train today. He was resting a left knee injury that should be healed in time for the D.C. United match.

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As you have heard by now, George Welcome is no longer on the club’s radar. Now while this has been blamed on the Red Bulls reluctance to deal with another Lider Marmol situation where another team has a discovery claim on a player, a source tells me that Welcome’s salary demands might have also played a part in the club moving on.

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That’s all for now. Feel free to drop a Red Bulls related question in the comments section and I’ll see if I can provide an answer.

Share your thoughts on these practice observations below.

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