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With the Claudio Reyna retirement press conference still a few hours away, there are still plenty of questions being asked about his retirement and its ramifications. I’ve decided to answer some of the questions I’m seeing being raised. No, it’s not a Q&A (and yes, I’m aware I still have to do the last Q&A session), but it will hopefully answer some questions.
Question: Will the Red Bulls use the Reyna designated player slot?
Answer: Sources are telling me they will not. A league official did confirm Steve Goff’s report from late last night that the Red Bulls won’t get cap relief from the retirement, but will be allowed to use the DP slot.
So why not use the slot? As I stated earlier this morning, the team wants to wait for next summer, when the new stadium is expected to be finished.
The team can certainly fit a DP on its salary cap because at this point in the year a DP would cost a pro-rated $200K against the cap, space the team does have. The problem is while you could fit one in for this year, the Red Bulls don’t want to sign a DP to a multi-year deal right now, and finding someone who is DP worthy to play for a deal that only has a half-season guaranteed would not be easy.
Question: Might Reyna play elsewhere in 2009?
Answer: I seriously doubt it. Reyna has deep roots in the NJ/NY area and has three young sons that I’m pretty sure he wants to create a stable environment for. It isn’t that he can’t still play. I still say he can play when healthy. It’s the "when healthy" part that’s the problem. For him to play his best, he has to play at an intense level that is going to lead to him getting hurt every time. Sure, he might get the itch to play, and I have a feeling he would have kept trying to come back from his injuries until the end of the season if the Red Bulls hadn’t asked him to retire, but I think he knows the time is right.
Question: What’s next for Reyna?
Answer: Without question I think coaching is his next step. I know that is something he has always talked about wanting to do when he was finished playing. Where that will take him remains to be seen. I’ll say it now though, it wouldn’t shock me at all if Claudio Reyna isn’t a head coach in Europe or with the national team some day.
Question: Will the Red Bulls sign a forward?
Answer: I believe they will and I believe they have someone in their sights. Red Bulls head coach stopped short of saying that the team had a forward in mind during an interview on Tuesday and the smile on his face tells me that it’s someone who he thinks can make an instant impact.
Question: When did retirement become an option for Reyna?
Answer: I was told as far back as two weeks ago by a team official that something was in the works. It didn’t seem to match with Reyna’s statements following the Steve Nash charity game that he was working his way back. So either Reyna was doing his best to keep the process secret or Reyna was still holding out hope of coming back as recently as two weeks ago.
Question: How long do the Red Bulls have the Chivas USA designated player slot for.
Answer: The popular answer is until the end of the 2009 season. I am working to get the definitive answer on that. I think it was until 2009 because after 2009 is when MLS was supposed to re-evaluate the designated player mechanism (which also means time to consider scrapping it (no way) or giving teams a second slot (possible).
That’s all for now. Feel free to share your thoughts on these below.