MLS- New York Red Bulls

Red Bulls Homegrown forward Moreno joins Club Tijuana on free transfer

Amando Moreno

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


Amando Moreno has traded the snow-covered streets of New Jersey for the sun-drenched roads in Tijuana.

The New York Red Bulls Homegrown Player has completed a permanent move to Club Tijuana on a free transfer, at little more than a year removed from signing his first professional contract. Though neither team has made a formal announcement yet, Moreno announced the news on social media and Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh confirmed that Moreno would be leaving the club.

“Amando was out of contract and decided recently to decline our offer to stay with the club. He and his agent chose to take this other opportunity,” Roxburgh said in a statement.

Sources have confirmed to SBI that the Red Bulls declined to pick up Moreno’s contract option, leaving him free to leave the club. Sources also confirm that the Red Bulls were in contract negotiations with Moreno on a new deal when he chose to become the latest American player at Club Tijuana.

In his first and only season with the Red Bulls in 2013, the 18-year-old forward made two appearances off the bench in stoppage time, while making an additional 11 appearances with the Red Bulls reserves, scoring one goal.

Moreno split his year with the Red Bulls first team, the academy squad, and the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team, where he played six times, scoring one goal.

When Moreno does officially join Xolos, he likely will not count on their books as a foreign player. Moreno’s father is from Mexico and his is from El Salvador, similar to his new teammate Joe Corona.

Moreno also joins U.S. U-18 teammate Paul Arriola as a young American forward signing with the Liga MX club instead of remaining in MLS. Currently Club Tijuana has seven American-passport holding players in their first team, including U.S. Men’s National Team players Edgar Castillo, Herculez Gomez, and Corona.

It remains unclear whether Moreno will join the Xolos first team, or Club Tijuana’s Under-20 team, though given Moreno’s lack of professional experience, a role with the U-20s appears more likely.


What do you think of this news? Surprised the Red Bulls let Moreno leave? Think he can make some noise at Club Tijuana?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Nando

    We pay Europe rejects six times their market value but we can’t hold on to the future of the league.
    This kid may be good but Unfurtunatelly for him he’s not famous.


  • 2shway

    Would NYRB still receive funds for developing the player?
    I thought this was a fifa rule…if a player is under a certain age…..maybe it’s a UEFA rule


      • Joe+G

        According to his agent, NYRB are keeping his MLS rights, so they made some kind of offer.


      • iggy

        thats just MLS rules. Pretty sure the rights to the player remain even after the contract expires.


  • BrianK

    On the surface, this is disappointing. Maybe he just wasn’t developing the way they thought he would. Maybe Roxburgh suffers from what Paul Gardner thinks the entire US suffers from,…blatant anti-Hispanic prejudice.


      • BrianK

        Who knows. As I noted above,…maybe the player wasn’t developing as expected and needed a place where he could play,…ala Jose Villareal. But it is odd that these kids aren’t cracking MLS first teams but are being snapped up by Mexican teams. Is there a trend? A root cause? Maybe Ives could explore.

        What I can tell you for certain is that it is disapointing that the RBNY youth program, which I understand to be excellent,….is not producing any first team players. Pity. The club has been around for 18 years and it has not managed to produce one first team regular.


      • BrianK


        Sorry,…don’t understand the question. Could you be more specific?


      • Ian

        Just correction: Jose Villarreal has barely cracked the lineup at Cruz Azul. He’d get way more playing time at Galaxy II.


      • BrianK

        BTW – someone on SBI noted on another thread that Will Trapp, a ‘homegrown’ player from Ohio, was the 1st half Captain in the Crew’s most recent per-season game. Just one example,…but it would appear that other clubs are making strides with homegrown talent development and RBNY are not!


    • 2tone

      Blatant anti-Hispanic? Really? Maybe you should check out MLS teams rosters. Doesn’t seem anti-Hispanic to me.


    • sean357

      Think the old club may hold on to the ITC till another club requests it so technically they have to transfer it with the approval of the respective federations, hence the use of the term.


    • Joe+G

      It’s a really common term.

      “free transfer football” in Google yields:
      About 1,280,000 results (0.28 seconds)


  • choto

    this is more of a reflection of MLS teams not having a team in the USL, such as the LA II… would he have left if NYRB had a NYRBII team playing competitive league matches in the USL? maybe that keeps him in NY a little longer.


  • TomG

    Why would NYRB decline his option? I thought they loved him? Seems like yet another dropped ball for NYRB.


    • Joe C.

      It says they declined to pick up his option, but were still in negotiations with him. Sounds like they tried to pick him up on a worse deal than the contract option and he went elsewhere?


  • Tony

    This organization continues to lack focus and commitment to its local roots. It does not look to the future. With so much talent that has played at the team it is surprising that this team has not won more. All areas of weakness that plague the team are a result of mistakes with youth development. The case of Moreno is shocking but not surprising. What is damming is that this promising player could have gone to college but by signing this contract he forfeited college. I hope he does well and links up with Hercules Gomez who knows a thing or two about short sighted mls coaches and success in a superior league. More alarming is the incredible loss of talent to mx at a time when expansion may mean diluting even further a weak league


    • MLS_Soccer_Talker

      Right on. NYRB has not fully taken advantage of the hot bed of talent they are over. Hopefully NYCFC will do much better at the youth level.


  • smith

    Oh most of these alleged prospects are overrated
    People were up in arms when they let Kassell and Hot go
    In truth, I saw both of them play and they were both terrible
    Lets all calm down here


    • TomG

      Kassel and Hot were never going to be anything special. That was always pretty clear. Nobody wanted them. The fact that Tijuana signed Moreno puts him in a completely different class. You think LA wouldn’t want to have Arriola on their side? It’s true that prospects are a crapshoot but that doesn’t mean you let your best ones go and don’t pick up their options.


    • Tony

      Do you know how many prospects have left the red bulls and moved on to have solid careers? Yeah you just mentioned two players that did not pan out but there are quite a number that did work out for other teams red bulls just decided to go with old players.


      • Smith

        How many? Corey Hertzog? Agudelo? Conor Chinn?

        I’m not counting Tim Howard & Jozy Altidore as Metro/RBNY got transfer fees?

        Who? Miles Joseph?

        Maybe Moreno is small, gets knocked off the ball & has a questionable work ethic?

        Tell me who these players are.


      • BrianK

        Ramiro Corrales, Ricardo Clark, Michael Bradley, Brad Davis, Mike Magee, Tim Ream, Juan Agudelo, Eddie Gaven, Jeff Parke, Kerry Zavagnin,…

        Oh, and Steve Shak,….just kidding.


      • Smith

        The league forced the team to trade Corrales & Clark to get Grafer (due to goal keeping injuries) & YOuri.

        You can’t count Davis AND Magee because Davis was traded FOR Magee.

        They got a transfer fee for Ream. We’re a developmental league. It’s not like we’re La Liga. It’s not like we gave him away.

        Agudelo has never proven anything over time other than his questionable work habits.

        gaven was a decent player who packed it in before age 30 & never made it as a NAT.

        Jeff Parke? really?

        Kerry Zavagin – fans were begging to get rid of him. he was terrible with Metro.

        Come on, really people, you’re complaining for the sakeof complaining .


      • BrianK


        1. Not sure “forced” is the right word as far as Corrales and Clark are concerned. Bradley wanted YD and chose to deal them.

        2. Yes you can count Davis and Magee as examples. Davis was drafted by the Metrostars. They didn’t have to trade him. Nevertheless, they did. Then they had Magee and they chose to trade him.

        3. Ream (like Brad Davis!!!) was a finalist for Rookie of the year. He was a talented young player,…they could have held on to him and improved his contract. [maybe not La Liga but they could afford to pay that flounce Rafa La Liga money?] Again,…if they had been smart they could have passed on Rafa and paid Ream a good wage to stick around.

        4. They could have given Agudelo a longer look.

        5. Gaven was a good MLS player who won MLS Cup in 2008 and two Supporters Shields (2008, 2009).

        6. Yes,…Jeff Parke,…really. Decent player.

        7. Yes. Kerry Zavagnin. Six strong seasons with KC,…not to mention he broke into the national team pool AFTER he was traded by the Metrostars.

        The obvious point you have missed is that all of these player were cast aside and have gone on to greener pastures and some nice successes. Agudelo is TBD but obviously on a decent path.

        Man,…can’t believe that someone would support these trades/moves with the benefit of hindsight. Shocking.


      • Freddy Adu

        No. My point is that ANYONE could look back with hindsight.

        How did the deals look at the time?

        I personally was against trading Davis and Clark.

        I think Agudelo is obscenely overrated.

        So was Gaven


  • AdamTheRed

    Yeah, let’s bring in Bradley-Wright Phillips and those types and alienate US young talent…GENIUS!


  • Gary Page

    Tijuana Xolos would seem to be as much American as Mexican right now. Could be they’re trying to expand their fan base even more in San Diego. There are probably a couple of hundred thousand Hispanics within easy driving distance in south San Diego County. They are already fun to watch, here’s another reason.


  • RBNY

    Never got to see much Moreno, but the fact that Xolos gave him a contract shows that he presents some kind of potential. The stated “free transfer” term makes it sound like we let him walk for nothing, and if this is the case, I’m hoping that at least there was some kind of gentleman’s agreement for future considerations.

    Can we get the inside track on a future Joe Corona loan deal to RBNY or something, at least??


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