Good afternoon folks. I’m coming to you from the Red Bulls practice facility. Here is a quick rundown of some of the tidbits from practice.
With the exception of long-term injuries to Dane Richards and Hunter Freeman, the rest of the Red Bulls squad is healthy heading into Saturday’s match against the Columbus Crew. Rookie defender Eric Brunner is nursing a broken nose suffered in the pre-season match against Carolina.
Defender Scott Palguta has returned to the Rochester Rhinos after an extended trial with the Red Bulls. Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio decided that Kevin Goldthwaite had enjoyed a strong enough pre-season to pass on Palguta, who impressed as a left back option but wasn’t really a central defender option.
Defender Chris Leitch has closed the gap at right back and looks to be the choice to start ahead of Carlos Mendes on Saturday. Leitch played a strong match for the Red Bulls against Carolina last week and has the slight edge over Mendes, who has struggled with adapting to a new position.
The race for the left wing spot is still up in the air, with rookie Danleigh Borman and veteran Dave Van Den Bergh. Columbus’ speed on the wings may force Osorio to go with the rookie, who is fast enough to cover the flank.
The Lider Marmol situation is still unresolved. According to sources, Marmol was offered a contract of $100,000, which he promptly rejected. The question remains whether MLS will increase its offer by much more because it could price Marmol out of the Chicago Fire’s price range. The Fire currently holds the top discovery option with the Red Bulls holding the second option.
I will add another Red Bulls update later this afternoon so stay tuned.