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Red Bulls set to swoop on midfielders

Just a day after adding a quality defender in the MLS Draft in Eric Brunner, the Red Bulls look set to address their concerns about the midfield.

The Red Bulls have targeted a pair of South American midfielders, one a left winger and another an attacking midfielder, in a double-swoop that could help address the team’s need for more offensive productivity from the midfield.

Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio told media on Friday that the team was close to adding a left winger, but a team source has confirmed that an attacking midfielder is in the team’s sights as well and both players could join the squad by the end of the month.

What does this mean for left winger/fullback Dave Van Den Bergh? His future with the Red Bulls remains uncertain and he could be on his way out if Osorio can find a suitable option at left back. Van Den Bergh’s lack of pace makes him an unsuitable option on the left wing for Osorio, who prefers speed on the flanks.


  1. Ives,

    I’m also curious about how the league is handling Jonathan Sabbatini from the combine — clearly a player that NY would be interested in.

    Re: Kovalenko vs. Stammler, I read a few weeks ago that Reyna may already be out for ten games next season, so either Kovalenko or Stammler (or both) will definitely get time at D-mid. I like Kovalenko’s fighting spirit and I also liked him at right back (although he’s a little slow to be fully effective there), so I would think Kovalenko gets the nod over Stammler in the midfield and Seth fights for playing time with the centerbacks.

    I guess the next question is if Brunner becomes our starting left back or we pick up a true left back for the role. If Brunner slots in at centerback when he’s ready, who gets displaced Mendes or Parke? It would be great to have four centerbacks to choose from, but that maybe an expensive luxury under the salary cap when the team needs to find impact players for other positions as well.

    I thought VDB was a good left back for his offensive ability/mindset, and he could still be useful as a backup left winger. That also depends upon how good David Roth is on the professional level and if/when he’ll be ready to get minutes at left wing. VDB is probably worth keeping unless we get a true left back, and unless he costs too much against the cap.

  2. BK,
    With ya on the Fulham comments. Just finished watching. Boca looked good at left back. Solid in defense (maybe first goal was partially his fault) and had some really nice passes out of the back. Bullard should be named “Bullocks”, he couldn’t hit the side of a barn door with a pass. Dempsey played well. I’ve only watched Fulham play about 3 times this year, but it seems like every game I’ve watched, Dempsey has had real trouble staying onsides. The timing of his runs is not good, but maybe its actually the timing of his teammates passes that is off. Because of this, if they could find a true striker, Dempsey might be better playing a little more withdrawn.

  3. Are they talking about adding any of the South American guys from the combine?

    How is the league handling the guys who tried out …. lottery?

  4. I like Dema’s character and the way he fights. Assuming he’s the same old Dema, he stays with the club and may even unseat Claudio for a starting midfield position.

    As for van Den Bergh, he led the team in assists last year. If he doesn’t fit JPO’s game plans, I hope the Red Bulls could get a first round pick for him (especially if Garcia lands you the #1 pick).

  5. Dempsey is fully capable of playing an attacking midfield role. If McBride gets healthy and he can work well with King, that makes it possible for Dempsey to drop back and provide more support from the midfield.

  6. BK, I agree with all your assessments of the Fulham game.

    I really think that losing McBride really hurt Fulham, and it’s a shame that they are probably going down. I think that if Dempsey can manage to score 10 goals he may be able to secure a transfer back into the Premier League. I would really have loved to see McBride partnered with Dempsey, and I always have a soft spot for Fulham even though I am not a Fulham supporter.

  7. stammler will not be in front of dema on the ‘depth chart’… based on dema’s skill, intangibles on the field and his salary, my guess is that WHEN (not if) claudio is hurt, dema steps in over stammler at d-mid…or any other posistion

  8. A few thoughts on the Fulham game today… I know this isn’t the post for it, but I figure since there are a lot of Fulham on the page, and Ives said he’s pretty busy today, I’d post it here. Sorry.

    First.. Fulham is not good. David Healy and Kuqi are absolute garbage. I watched another game where Dempsey is the best player on the field and you can feel his frustration when he is the only person on the field that can keep the ball more than 1 second. Bocanegra was playing left back, which I’d love for him to settle at. Lord knows we need a consistent left back for the Nats and we have a few options at center back that we could use. Never understood why they didn’t throw him out there. Anyways, it was a shameful performance for the most part and their midfield is weeeeeeak. I don’t think Marlon King and the back from Copenhagen are going to fix those problems.

    Again, sorry to be off-subject, but I needed to rant after that game.

  9. Oh man, this team sorely needs an attacking mid and a player who can break people down on the left hand side of the field! Please let these 2 signings be impact players! And then once we add Zidane, we should be okay, ha ha!

  10. Could possibly be bad news for Kovalenko as well. They generally used two deep lying mids last year (especially when Mathis wasn’t on the field), but an attacking mid implies one holding mid. With Reyna and Stammler (bumped from central defense by Brunner) at that spot, Kovalenko could be on the bench or (due his age) out the door.


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