Good morning folks.
Here are a few things to catch you up on regarding the Red Bulls and Reyna’s retirement:
According to team sources, the Red Bulls first approached Claudio Reyna about the possibility of retiring last month. It remains unclear when Reyna finally made the decision to retire, but the announcement had been delayed while Major League Soccer sorted out how exactly to handle the retirement (yes, you can rest assured that some new DP rules were recently added to the MLS rule book the public has never seen.)
The Washington Post’s Steve Goff reported late last night that league officials told him the Red Bulls will be allowed to use the roster spot and designated player slot, but not the salary cap space. This may sound like a nightmare of a development, but it actually isn’t.
Here’s why. Having the DP slot available is more important than the cap space (Either $175,000 or $200,000) because the Red Bulls can the remaining portion of the Jozy Altidore allocation (the original allocation was approximately $500,000, but some has been used on Jorge Rojas and possibly Gabriel Cichero) toward the salary cap. Now, if the Red Bulls actually want to use the DP slot this year they can certainly fit it into the cap. The question is whether they want to. A team source told me on Tuesday that the team didn’t plan to.
There is also the matter of the roster spot. With as many as five or six new players coming in, Reyna’s departure means one less player will be let go and while it can be argued that there are two to three Red Bulls who could stand to be waived, the added wiggle room of the extra spot will help come decision-making time.
What wouldn’t make much sense is if the Red Bulls get no salary cap relief and don’t use the DP slot this year. Why? Because Reyna retiring and still being paid his full salary will then have only yielded the Red Bulls an extra roster spot, and say what you want about his inability to stay healthy, but it would have been worth it to keep Reyna on the roster and let him try to come back from injury in that case.
If you’re asking "Wait, what do you mean the Red Bulls could have kept Reyna on the roster." From what I understand, the retirement started out as the Red Bulls idea, a suggestion that wouldn’t have made much sense to make for such a minimal gain. I’ve even had one source suggest that Reyna was ultimately forced out.
We should get the full details of what will and won’t happen to Reyna’s DP slot and salary cap slot this afternoon so stay tuned for coverage of the Reyna retirement press conference later today.
Share your thoughts on the latest developments below.