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Red Bulls Update

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.


  1. Ridiculous. I agree with everyone on here. Leitch and Goldie in a 3 man back line? I think they’ll make Toronto’s D look stellar.

  2. gerald- yes, lets inc. the wages to compete with europe O.o…. do you realize how foolish that is?? good lord people, its basic business here… our teams simply do not have the revenue coming in to even contemplate competing with europe… a simple step would be to inc. the minimum so that our youth may actually decide to stay… b/c lets be frank here, they stand a better chance going up in the ranks of MLS and then going to europe rather then riding pine for a 2nd division team and hoping to get moved up… most people who go to europe end up getting forgotten and ignored in the masses…

    if you are a young prospect you really stand a better chance of getting Nats time if you get to a starting spot in the MLS rather then benching it in europe’s lower leagues… so INC the min. Inc the youth talent… thats the 1st step before we look at the overall picture

  3. Not sure if Lapira left for more money or the “superior” soccer of Europe. In the Scandanavian leagues, maybe the top two or three teams may be better than MLS but the rest are weaker. Second Division? Come on.

    Just need to point out that salaries are not driven by what we think people are worth. It’s what someone will pay. There simply are not enough fans in the US to justify Europe wages.

    Speaking of college kids going to Europe. Anyone hear of what happened to Michael Videara, that kid that got drafted by New England?

  4. Here’s the optimistic view:

    Last year:

    1)we were slow on the wings

    2)didn’t have a definite #1 GK until Sept, 3)played a 4 man mid with two in the center meaning that no one was specifically in charge of the offense & thus, no one took charge

    4) didn’t get JPA until several games into the season, had a lot of dead wood on the roster.

    5) Coach was barely interested

    This year:

    1) Borman adds speed. When Richards comes back, we’ll be flying.

    2)Conway is the clear #1.

    3)in a 3-5-2, Reyna will have no real defensive role, allowing him to flourish in an attacking role

    4) JPA is here all year

    5) Dead wood cut (let’s be honest. The onlt two who had any value were Dema, who is a brawler, not a soccer player & Mathis, who isn’t a week-in, week-out player anymore). Young Blood like Sasanno & Borman & Brunner will invigorate the team.

    6) We have cap room to add players down the stretch.

    7) Great job scouting locals like Mesa & Megaloudis.

    8) Coach is totally into it.

    Reality –

    1)Leitch & Goldie suck. We will end up aquiring a Jim Curtain type to get by.

    2) Reyna will get hurt & miss 10 games. Mike Magee will get hurt walking over to see if Reyna is okay & miss 28 games. DVDB will step in & be okay.

    3) The new guys (the draftees)will be okay.

    4) JPA will be great

    5) We’ll sign some second rate foreigners in mid-season, some who’ll produce & some who’ll just suck outright.

    6) We’ll win a third of our games, lose a third, tie a third, barely make the playoffs & get swept out by DC or the Revs.

    7) Osario will quit at season’s end to coach ion Europe because his wife likes it there. We begin rebuilding again.

    In other words, same old shite.

  5. Agreed Northzax, can’t recall the player or the MLS team, but a pretty pathetic story I heard was about some player that an MLS team was interested in but he signed with the Puerto Rico Islanders in the USL cuz it was a better contract

  6. one good reason that the cap needs to be raised to allow for a raise in the minimums: the troy Perkins of the world. And by that I mean the off the radar people. Make it $35k, and you can live, not well maybe, but live, in any MLS city. There is untapped midlevel talent in the 22 year old age bracket. They’ll never make the national teams, perhaps, but certainly MLS quality players, who might be more able to take a reserve role for two years, and maybe you find, if not a diamond in the rough, at least a semi-precious gem. What would it really cost to add a couple of 35k players to each team? A million bucks total?

  7. Yeah Brett I agree, I’d like to see like a 30k minimum at least so its at least like a crappy, first year out of college job. The damn peanut vendors could make more in a year at giants stadium than the minimum developmentals

  8. How did Claudio Reyna look? Will this be another frustrating, injury-riddled season or can he rise for a (probably) final year of glory?

  9. Frightening. Not feeling optimistic at all about this season based on what we’ve done (or failed to do) this winter. What in the world is going on with this club – and why does nothing they promise ever seem to come true. How hard is it to find a few MLS quality players to fill out the squad?

  10. Mario summed it up pretty nicely, wow Norway (lower) second division. This really can’t last like this. By the time the cap increases players like Angel, Becks and Blanco will be gone or very close to it

  11. What really bothers me is that we cannot compete with the salaries of the Norwegian SECOND Division. Lapira just signed with a team recently promoted from their 3rd Division.

    Lets face it, the defense is going to be as porous as last year.

  12. Rocco- im not saying we shouldnt bring in foreign talent, im saying we need to up the minimum amount before we start to look at bringing in foreign talent…. there is no reason the min should be $11.7k (if its inc. i havent heard)… and if it increases to 3M and the bottom players are still making 11.7k while we drop another 105k for another foreign talent is rediculous…

    i dont care about the average soccer fan… i care about the players that are playing in this league as well as the fans that can tear themselves away from the armchair to support their local side… the salaries need to be decent from BOTTOM up… and remember, its foolish to spend millions more when we arent bringing it in to begin with… marketing to youth clubs is key to developing a strong base… marketing to the current adults that are already focused on europe is not the target market…. majority of them already look at the MLS as some crap league… thats like trying to convince someone who’s pro-life that it should be pro-choice

  13. Brett- I think we need to start buying more foreign talent here, along with giving more $$ to the kids coming out of college.

    Look at the NHL which is really the only US league we should try to compare with MLS, at this point. Most of their top stars are mostly foreign talent. I know they have a good number US stars, but the majority of the league is still foreign. I know they’ve had problems after the strike but think about where they were in the 80’s, they’ve come a long way.

    I don’t think the average soccer fan here gives 2 craps about whether a kid coming out of college chooses MLS over a league in Norway or Sweden or even if they bypass soccer for another career, like the kid did for the Galaxy.

    We need guys that have some flare and technical ability and if we don’t have it here, do what we do with everything else in the US, go buy it.

    I used to go the Cosmos games as a kid and I can tell you the level of play back then as well as the crowds were great, but we know what happened with a 1 team dominate league.

    It doesn’t have to be a 1 team league, but having the cap @ 2.1MM is ridiculous. ($115K avg, 18 person team) Considering how weak the American dollar is right now, no average European will come.

  14. The average player salary in MLB is now $3.0M (the “major league minimum” of $400K is approximately the same as the POTUS). It’s kinda funny that the salary cap per MLS team is only about $2.4M.

  15. Rocco- while i agree the cap should be increased, we should definately see that the mins are increased first…. when you are playing a professional sport and you have to have a series of roommates in order to live in the city you play then something needs changing….

    we do not need to increase it so we can spend more money on foreign talent… anyhow, some teams are capable of pulling in talent without having to drop loads of cash…. look at the Revs and Houston… its no wonder they have been successful… sometimes the flashy names and birth locations dont matter… chemistry is key

  16. Add another person who cannot believe in the possibility of Leitch over Mendes!! And that Goldthwaite was solid in pre-season. Frigh-ten-ing!!!

  17. I have a feeling they are going to wait until the European leagues are done & sign a couple of guys in the next transfer period, hopefully on the cheap. We already have 700K tied up on Reyna & JPA. That can be the only explanation. MLS needs to up the salary cap, especially the league mins.

  18. MEMO TO: Juan Carlos Osorio…listen to us loyal Reb Bull fans… DON’T START LEITCH or GOLDY… Columbus’s wings Gaven/Rogers will blow by them like the Road Runner blows by the Coyote! Ives… is this another April Fools joke? I am praying that is the case… although I doubt it…

    agnigrin aka Furniture Music

  19. Wow. So defensive-minded Osorio is starting two of the WORST STARTING DEFENDERS IN MLS in a three-man back line. You have got to be kidding me. And Columbus looked dangerous last Saturday!! Oh this does not bode well.

    Ives, do you really think that Leitch is a better option than Mendes? I haven’t seen either of them play recently, but Leitch was putrid last year and Mendes was always solid (forget that own goal against NE; Conway’s fault).

    Geez, I’m scared.

  20. I like Mendes, not sure about him on the wing thou. Sure he could do fine. But guys for real, Leitch is solid, he did have about 3 bad games last season towards the end of the season. But he is solid, hustles like crazy, not easy to beat. Other then his slip towards the end of the season, he was one of the 2 or 3 most consistant players on the team. He deserves more credit then what u guys give him.

  21. guillermo- agreed that we have some extra cap, an increase may not sway it… the MLS should do an accurate accessment and if the Fire cant afford it, then it would look like we cant afford it… simple as that…

    but im pretty sure the fire have quite a bit of cap left to use… with all the retirements and droppings, we really havent brought in much more then Frankowski and some rookies…

  22. though it always seems to work in theory, very few teams can pull off a 3-man backline.

    i doubt the bulls will be an exception.

  23. I can’t imagine a 3 man backline with Goldie & Leitch. That just seems brutal. Why can’t we sign players? Why do we have Agoos?

  24. Not a big Leitch fan, but Mendes has not looked too good this preseason. I don’t think he has the pace to play as an outside back in the back 3. I think ultimately Brunner will slide into that spot.

  25. Ives,

    The Fire have some room under the cap. Any idea how much they’re willing to spend and what NYRB is willing to pop for?


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