Photos by ISIphotos.com
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."