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Red Bulls practice report (Day Two)

Good evening folks. I made my way to Giants Stadium this morning and the action at the second day of Red Bulls mini-camp was only slightly better than the first. The best part of the day was the fact that I was the only media member there. It was just me, Red Bulls staff and prospects and about a dozen would-be agents, most of whom sported dark coats (apparently this is the official uniform of agents who rep non-roster invitees). The best scene of the day was watching the agents circle Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio after practice. It was like a shark frenzy and Osorio was the bait.

There were some players who stood out on Wednesday and some who probably won’t be invited back for Thursday’s sessions (the club will cut down the numbers and include its regular draft picks in Thursday’s practice).

Here are some of the players who did well today:

Martin Nunez– This kid has tons of skill, but he is tiny (a skinny 5-7?) and I can’t help but wonder if he could really handle the rigors of the MLS game. He showed well, passing well and taking defenders on, as well as showing an impressive shot for his size (if Dane Richards had this kid’s shot he might be in the EPL). I’m sure Nunez will be back on Thursday but whether he gets the big invite to California remains to be seen.

Matt Kassel- Yep, he still looks legit and right now I would put the odds of him going with the Red Bulls to California at very good. It will be very interesting to see how he stacks up playing with and against first-team players.

Teddy Niziolek– Combining size (6-foot-3) with good ball skils and positional sense, Niziolek showed much better today than yesterday. Here’s the issue. He played defensive midfield in college but projects to be a central defender as a pro. The Red Bulls currently have Jeff Parke, Seth Stammler, Carlos Mendes and Eric Brunner as central defense options with Osorio desperate to find a left-footed defender capable of playing left back and center back. That doesn’t leave much room for Niziolek, especially not when it appears that Columbus’ demands for his rights haven’t gone down that much.

Marshall Leonard- There is little mistaking the only player in mini-camp with real MLS experience. Leonard is polished. The wheels are there, though I wonder if his passing is up to Juan Carlos Osorio’s standards. He did have one great goal off a long-range blast. As a left back in a 4-4-2 and wing midfielder in a 3-5-2, I think he gets the job done.

Christian Camacho– I like this kid’s game. He’s strong as heck on the ball and passes well. He, like some others, can get a little dribble happy but today there was less of that (perhaps Osorio spoke to him about that). I could see this kid in MLS.

Tighe Dombrowski– Steady day for him, never looked troubled by much but I am beginning to wonder about his size and whether he fits Osorio’s preference. Is he the tenacious defensive midfielder Osorio wants to pair Claudio Reyna with? Is he a left back option? Jeff Agoos is a fan though so I think he will get an extended look and Cali invite.

Ricky Schramm– Good size-speed combo as a forward, looked sharp today. Is he good enough to make the roster? With Juan Pablo Angel, Jozy Altidore, John Wolyniec, Francis Doe and Jerrod Laventure on the roster, I’m going to say the odds are stacked against him. He still may get a Cali invite.

Chris Megaloudis and Abimbola Pedro played well as forwards, knocking in multiple goals, but I’m not sure either of them gets an invite to California. Maybe one of them does but I would say it’s a long shot at this point. Megaloudis is a good finisher and showed good quickness while Pedro held the ball well and passed well as a big forward. I just don’t think either would make the Red Bulls.

Some players sat due to knocks, such as Michael Palacio and Laurent Manuel.

Thursday is shaping up to be a good day of training, with MLS Draft picks Eric Brunner, Luke Sassano and David Roth taking part.


  1. Ives, I don’t understand why the Bulls wouldn’t take Schramm on? Your commentary is on point about his skill and the depth they have at the Forward position. But come on, this kid has heart and determination written on his forehead. He has succeeded on every level previous to this one. Sure, with Jozy, Juan Pablo and co. there isn’t much room, but the kid knows how to get the ball in the back of the net. That simple. Can you disagreed with me on that?

  2. to cFb . . . yes, its Mike Mega’s kid. His older brother Mike was a BEAST. I heard Chris was better. So who knows.

    Hey Ives, if Mega was knockin in goals, what was wrong about his game that he wouldnt make it to Cali?

  3. Poor Stammler thought he was an attacking midfielder…

    I rate Stammler more than anybody on the roster, Altidore and Angel aside. If Osorio comes out in a 3-5-2, Stammler can slide right next to Reyna as the two deeper central midfielders, with Reyna operating the link to whoever will be the playmaker. If they come out in a 4-4-2, you are asking for alot of offense out the wings with Reyna and Stammler playing next to each other.

  4. Fellas, I’ve always rated Stammler more as a central midfielder than central defender but Juan Osorio has tended to mention Stammler second to Jeff Parke whenever he talks about center backs, so I’m basing my projection on that until I hear otherwise.

  5. Hey Ives, which Megaloudis is that? It’s the one that went to Stony Brook and is son of Michael Megaloudis, not the FIU grad who is Thomas Rongen’s stepson, is that right?

  6. Yeah, Stammler’s best position is right in the center of midfield, alongside Reyna, blowing up the other teams offense. He also has a good passing sense and can use both feet with power, which is always a plus. The guy is fearless

  7. I agree with Danny. The most potential Stammler has ever shown was in central midfield – even Reyna remarked on it last year. I’d like to see him be earmarked to play ONE position for an entire year and then see how he progresses. NM

  8. Good stuff. I am sure Agoos likes Tighe, they played together in SJ and Jeff was a fan then of his tenasity and work rate ten too.

    He’s kinds like a Stammler, he can play many positions.


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