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Osorio responds to Kovalenko’s remarks

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With a crisp and chilly breeze blowing at his back, Juan Carlos Osorio rubbed his hands together and revealed a big grin as he declared just how excited he is for tonight’s match against Real Salt Lake.

"How can you not get up for a game like this," Osorio said. "A big crowd, points on the line. I might have to put a uniform on."

When the conversation turned to comments made by Dema Kovalenko about him, Osorio didn’t miss a beat when discussing a player he traded away last off-season.

"Nine months ago when I traded him I felt that Seth Stammler was more than able to match his production," Osorio said. "(Kovalenko) has a goal and two assists in 17 (starts) this year so I think I made the right decision."

Stammler has been one of the Red Bulls most consistent players, registering a goal and three assists while providing a solid presence in defensive midfield. Stammler also makes almost half what Kovalenko makes in salary ($105,000).

Osorio pointed directly at Kovalenko’s production, or lack of production, as a key factor in his departure from the Red Bulls. While he wouldn’t go as far as criticizing Osorio’s s high salary, team sources have told SBI that Kovalenko’s $200,000 cap figure was a key factor in him being dealt.

Kovalenko became a fan favorite during his time with the Red Bulls because of his fiery personality and toughness, but his production for price was an issue for team officials. Kovalenko finished the 2007 season with two goals and one assist in 19 games.

Osorio also made the point that Kovalenko’s departure paved the way for young players such as Sinisa Ubiparipovic and Luke Sassano to play more.

"These are two players who have bright futures and have had a chance for playing time, " Osorio said. "I don’t think we lost in that exchange."


  1. Dema Kovalenko has always been a dirty player—even since his days playing for IU.

    He’s also a bit of a head case off the field.

    Everyone knows it.

  2. I don’t the decision was anything personal on Dema’s part…I think it was all politics. I thinks Osorio found a move that would better Red Bull on paper and he choose the money over the player.

    Which dosent really make sense because Osorio because ended up signing Juan Pietravallo for(192,000) about 8k less than what dema made.

    (so I think the real question is whose better Dema Kovalenko or Juan Pietravallo?)

  3. well, if Chris Wingert (0 career MLS goals) knew how to shoot, than Dema could have matched Stammler’s stats with his third assist of the season tonight in his brief sub appearance.

  4. All I know is that Juan Pietravallo has looked worse than any other MLS player the last couple weeks and he makes money in the 200K range.

  5. I agree that Kovalenko has the stones, cojones, huevos, balls and all that. But Dema also has a really dirty streak in him, as well. Dema has a history. Anyone remember how he snapped Ronnie O’Brien’s leg a few years ago? After O’Brien’s rehab stint Kovalenko put in another ugly challenge in their very next meeting on the pitch. It led to a pretty ugly confrontation and I was hoping that O’Brien would bust him one and make him spit ivory. It never happened because Ronnie is too classy for that. As for today, give me Stammler over Kovalenko anytime.

  6. This makes sense because defensive midfield is such a stat position.

    Isn’t it?

    Oh, it’s not?

    Oh well.

    I’ll agree that Stammler is better than Dema right now, but the stat argument is worthless.

    I think the real news is that Osorio smiled.

    Or that this game is as good as any for Dema to return to his leg breaking ways.

  7. How bizarre. I have no problems in dealing Kovalenko for cap reasons. For 200k you expect a player who continually makes a huge difference on the field in a key position.

    That said, JCO’s justification is weak. Stamler as a player has been used by this team in a bunch of roles And if it was just down to Kovalenko or Stammler, that’s a false choice–both guys give you a lot of effort and capability at many positions on the field. With a short roster early in the season, Reyna out hurt, having players like Stammler and Kovalenko who can play all over the field is a plus. But instead, JCO says it was “Stammler vs Kovalenko” which is lame and he wanted to give young guys PT to develop them. Except those young guys will all be exposed in the expansion draft this year and then next year and then next year and then next year. It’s going to be the Joe Vide story all over again.

    I think JCO has a lot of pluses as a coach. But I’m not losing sight of the fact that:

    –this year’s RedBulls team may end up with a worse record than last year

    –may yet fail to make the playoffs

    –and was a miserable excuse the first half of the season: the fans were ripped off by the team put on the field.

    I give credit to JCO for filling those holes in August. But if the team fails to make the playoffs, it’s going to be about the failure, even given a full preseason to field a competitive team at the start of the season. Basically, the RedBulls waited until August to put a serious team with some depth on the field.

  8. I have no idea if it was a good decision or not. However, people criticizing Osorio for making a decision based on money are misguided. I mean, it’s a league in which the salary cap puts constraints on your activity, and you have to evaluate players on a per-dollar basis. It’s a smart way to build teams, just like in the NFL

  9. Eh, I loved Dema, but take away his cool factor, and you have to agree with Osorio that this was the right move. Dema did nothing that Stammler doesn’t. Throw in the price tags and it’s a no-brainer.

    “I might have to put a uniform on.” – Osorio

    I don’t think he was joking, lol. Do we have 11 players to throw out there tonight??

  10. The fact-checkers are out in force, though, just like after those other debates – you know, between “that one” and “the other one.”

  11. all JCO said was that Stammler matches Kovalenko’s stats (not that he’s so much better) and that it made sense for the team to cut back on spending by keeping Stammler and selling Kovalenko. I felt like JCO handled the remarks in a classy way.

  12. I’ll have to agree with Braden in saying that Osorio should keep his mouth shut and concentrate on the job ahead. Let Dema mouth off, as it’s something he’s always done. Osorio just better hope that all of his players play with 1/2 the commitment that Dema plays with. Too bad he’s not with us any longer.

  13. So, let’s talk about those “cold, hard facts”. Red Bulls under Arena were 12-11-7. Osorio now has a 9-10-8 record. Should we be expecting the axe to fall sometime soon? Did we actually get worse as a team over the last year? Or, was Arena more capable of fielding a winning team, despite his many failings?

    If I were Osorio, I’d shut up about Kovalenko and focus on making the team better.

  14. Sweet response by JCO, reply with cold hard #’s and facts, not emotions. That’s professional, that’s a leader FURIA YANQUI. Not “I don’t like that guy…”. Read between the lines of JCO’s remarks, Dema can go to hell. 🙂

  15. That’s fair enough by JCO. I like Dema, and liked him here. I would pick Stammler over him any day though, even if money weren’t the issue. When you add the money factor in it becomes an even more obvious choice.

  16. I can understand why they got rid of him, but it’s still unfortunate. He added personality and competitiveness to a team sorely lacking it (and still does).

    And the fact that he made those remarks suggests that he wishes he was still on NYRB; not many players you can say that about.

    Stammler is consistent all right: all work little skill. You can argue Dema is similar but I would argue he adds that extra intangible edge..

  17. Wow, knock a former player’s stats and then laud his replacement who has … all of one more assist. What a leader of men. I was neutral but I will be pulling for Dema to knock one in tonight at Rio Tinto.

    Dema is a certifiable nut and he’s no Messi, but he has one thing (OK, two things) Osorio and his cabana boy Conde know nothing about: Huevos. Cojones. Balls. Whatever you want to call it, every team needs it.

    I don’t know if Stammler has it or not, i wouldn’t knock him for nothing. but after reading just what Ives put out there in this post, I can only conclude that once again for Osorio, this decision was all about the benjamins.

    Maybe it was a wash, maybe NYRB came out a bit ahead and save some money. Either way, the comments still show a lack of class.

    And by the way, I am only back here today because Goff is observing the holiday with his tribesmen.

  18. figures that the high salary was a big part of it. it was kinda obvious.

    i respect Dema. tough bastard, and he knows that.

  19. There should be something said for Kovalenko’s competitiveness especially in practice and how he often makes all the players around him work harder in them (practices). I would think that would be hard to replace, he has a great work ethic.


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