By DAN KARELL
After a number of players left the club in the last few weeks, the New York Red Bulls ensured that three current players would be in the squad next season
The Red Bulls announced on Wednesday that Eric Alexander, Peguy Luyindula, and Kosuke Kimura have all signed new contracts with the club. Per club and league policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed. All three players were new to the Red Bulls in 2013.
“Coming off of winning the MLS Supporters’ Shield, we wanted to ensure that we maintained some continuity in our roster, and all three players contributed to our success in 2013,” Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said in a statement.
Alexander played the most minutes of any outfield player in the squad this past season, finishing with 2504 minutes. He was also the only outfield member to play in every game this season. The Indiana University product scored four goals and recorded two assists while playing out of position as a right midfielder.
The 25-year-old was acquired by the Red Bulls last February from the Portland Timbers in exchange for allocation money.
“Eric emerged this year as one of our most dependable players, and we are pleased to reach a new deal with him,” Roxburgh said. “His versatility in the midfield and his technical quality helped us throughout the season, and we think that he has a bright future ahead of him.”
The former Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon forward Peguy Luyindula endured a difficult start with the Red Bulls, joining the squad as a free agent late in preseason and suffering repeated hamstring injuries in the early to middle part of the year.
However, in the second half of the season, playing as a midfielder, Luyindula showed talent, helping lead the Red Bulls to a Supporters’ Shield title with three assists in the regular season finale against the Chicago Fire. The 34-year-old Frenchman finished the year with one goal and seven assists.
“Peguy showed, especially toward the end of the 2013 season, that he can provide a different dimension to our attack,” Roxburgh said. “He brings a tremendous amount of experience from his time at the top level in Europe, and we think he can contribute to our squad once he has a full preseason under his belt in 2014.”
Meanwhile Kimura, who joined the Red Bulls from the Timbers in exchange for the homegrown player rights of Bryan Gallego and a second round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, performed well as both as right back and left back, appearing 24 times this season with 15 starts. The Japan-born defender finished the year with no goals and two assists.
“Kosuke is an outstanding character who provides us with experience at fullback, and we are happy to re-structure his contract for next year,” Roxburgh said. “We believe that he has a lot to contribute on the field, and his professionalism in the locker room and around his teammates was certainly an asset this year.”
What do you think of this news? Glad to see Alexander, Luyindula, and Kimura back? Think that all three have a shot at starting next season?
Share your thoughts below.