You might want to hold off on making those lists of potential replacement designated players for the Red Bulls just yet.
According to multiple sources, including one team source, the Red Bulls will not be using the designated player slot left vacated by Claudio Reyna’s retirement this season.
According to the sources, Major League Soccer won’t let the Red Bulls use the slot this year and apparently the Red Bulls were not planning on using Reyna’s designated player slot this season anyway. First, it would mean paying a third player a large contract for this season (with Juan Pablo Angel and Reyna already due to make more than a combined $2.85 million this season). Secondly, the club has its sights set on using the slot to sign a high-profile player in the 2009 summer opening of Red Bull Park in Harrison.
So how does Reyna’s retirement help if not in the form of a designated player slot? If the league is allowing the Red Bulls to use his salary (believed to be a pro-rated $200,000) and roster slot, then the retirement should allow the team to go shopping for a starting forward, just not a marquee international forward.
League officials aren’t expected to make any public comments about the impact of Reyna’s retirement until after the retirement press conference on Wednesday so things should be clarified then. For now though, how disappointed are you to hear that the Red Bulls won’t use the second DP slot this season? Disappointed? Angry? Do you agree that it’s better to wait for the off-season or even next summer? Do you disagree and think the Red Bulls should go big for a top forward now? Share your thoughts below.