Good afternoon folks. It is an off day in Salzburg as the Red Bulls rest up ahead of a planned scrimmage against the Red Bull Salzburg reserves on Monday. The team was given last night and today off, allowing players to enjoy the city and rest up as they prepare for a busy week.
I was supposed to be in Munich watching 1860 against Aachen but I I didn’t feel well and had to pass on it. The match ended 0-0 so I don’t feel THAT bad for missing it but I was looking forward to catching up with Gregg Berhalter. I will hopefully do that via phone this week.
Those of you who read my Saturday training camp report know that the club played an intra-squad scrimmage on Saturday. Here are some notes from Saturday that I didn’t include in yesterday’s report:
There are several rookies doing well but the front-runner for impact rookie could be Danleigh Borman. The speedy left winger gave Dane Richards serious problems in their match-up, a match-up head coach Juan Osorio intentionally set up to test both players. As it stands, I think Borman has a chance of becoming the team’s starting left winger, at least until the club signs a left winger or Osorio tries Dane Richards on the left, with Hunter Freeman sliding into the right wing slot. Osorio hasn’t tried Richards on the left yet, but it is a very real possibility.
Oscar Echeverry is a very intriguing prospect. He’s fast, strong, shifty and a good passer. He has better size than you realize and while I’m not sure if he’s really ready to challenge Jozy Altidore for a starting role as Osorio suggested, Echeverry has the tools to be an impact player.
One player who did look very good on Saturday was Jeff Parke. He is a rock in central defense and will start whether the club goes 3-5-2 or 4-4-2.
Carlos Mendes also looked steady playing right back in the 3. He went through his share of turmoil toward the tail end of last season, effectively losing his job after suffering an injury, then struggling with form when Bruce Arena finally put him back in the mix. Osorio is working on his defenders contributing more to the attack with more effective passes out of the back.
Kevin Goldthwaite was steady at left back but did have some trouble with Luke Sassano on occasions. Goldthwaite struggled mightily last season before suffering a serious knee injury but he has come into training camp focused and looks better. That said, he will likely be the odd man out when Osorio finds the left-footed defender he’s been searching for.
The Red Bulls will face the Red Bull Salzburg reseves on Monday and you should expect to see this starting XI play in the match:
————Van Den Bergh—–Stammler————–
Osorio might give Mendoza a chance to start in this match but I think he wants to see Borman match up against different competition. Lider Marmol could get the start in central midfield, with Van Den Bergh moving to the left flank, but the uncertainty over whether the team will be able to sign Marmol could lead Osorio to use him in the second half.