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Red Bulls close in on right back, bring two Boca Juniors defenders on trial

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With Chris Leitch on his way to San Jose, the New York Red Bulls need to fill the right back spot. The club looks to be closing in on an option in Costa Rican defender Carlos Johnson.

“We are very far along in our discussions with Carlos Johnson,” Agoos said. “We thought with the strong possibility with Carlos coming in and with Carlos Mendes and Jeremy Hall being able to play at that position, we felt that Chris would be better served playing in San Jose.”

The Red Bulls are considering six different players for their roster, including two new faces that played in a 1-1 draw with Argentinos Juniors Tuesday morning in Buenos Aries. Nicolas Villafane and Gabriel Quirulef, both members of the Boca Juniors system, impressed on Tuesday.

“I think if we had an expanded roster, it would be more of a likelihood of one or both being able to make this roster,” Agoos said. “Nicolas did very well today, Gabriel did well also and they’re players we’re going to keep through the rest of this camp and make an assessment at the end of this camp on what the direction is with both of them.”

One player who missed the scrimmage was Spanish midfielder Albert Celades, who sat out with a thigh bruise. His quality and versatility has the Red Bulls interested.

“He can play in a number of positions in the midfield, but I think he’s better suited centrally than out wide,” Agoos said of Celades. “He’s a very talented player and with the pedigree he has, coming from Real Madrid and Barcelona, you know there’s something behind it. He hasn’t played in a number of months so he’s getting back into fitness.

“We’re in preliminary discussions in terms of where each party stands. We’re not very far along, to be quite honest,” Agoos said. “Right now we’re just have two parties interested in each other and we’re trying to figure out if there’s some common ground.”

Agoos also denied reports out of El Salvador that claim the Red Bulls have agreed to terms with Salvadoran national team left back Alfredo Pacheco.

“I’ve heard there were reports that said there was an agreement of terms, but that’s not an accurate statement,” Agoos said. “To be quite honest it would be difficult for me to comment about a player who is currently with another club right now.”

What do you think of these developments? Like the idea of the Red Bulls adding Johnson? More concerned about the left back spot? Are you hoping the team finds room for the Boca Juniors trialists?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Palacios stays becasuehe is a US citizen, Celades, Johnson, and Pacheco would be great additions if they sign (keeping the NYRB under the salary cap. Either one or both the Boca Jrs. would be a plus but getting everyone means some current foreign players have to go.Potentials being Boyens, Pietravallo, Echevery and Smith. The cap dollars having the most weight.

  2. are they still interested in Pacheco.. there havent been any update on his status.

    According to him ever since Osorio left grom El salvador he has not heard anything regaring his future with red bull , so im assuming he is no longer a candidate….

  3. Celades — midfield. I don’t know why you guys keep sticking him in the backline. Agoos *clearly* said midfield. He’s best in midfield. He’s not a centerback.

    I interpret the roster moves to mean that they are very close on Johnson and I interpret Agoos’ comments on Pacheco to mean that they are negotiating price — if they find the right price, he’ll be on his way. I’m not very worried about signing a LB, from all the trialists and the Pacheco discussion, it is clear that JCO will have a new LB before the season starts.

  4. yea im also concerned about both oscar echeverry and michael palacios. i think both should be released, but if only one, than palacios. i think neither of them will get any playing time, but echeverry could provide some leadership or/and experience. palacios has been injured throughout his whole time here and nothin new about him. roth was released and he actually played….but we..idk..hopefully RBNY do make could decisions on those defenders….viva metro!!!

  5. Johnson,Celedes, and Pacheo would be great improvement over what we have now.

    It would also be great to get one of the Boca Junior players on loan.

  6. Yowsa! More good news! We definitely need Johnson for a starter and then have Mendes and Hall for depth. I feel almost confident we’ll come away with a good LB with all the options at the moment. What positions do the Boca Jr. trialists play?

  7. I have to agree with Trex. I really like the thought of a Pacheco/Celades/Petke/Johnson back-line.

    If the RB are able to land those players, Goldie, Petke, and Boyens better star brushing up in their Spanish.

    Ives, is it true that the RB are waiting for Etcheverry to heal so they can dump him? Also, do you think that between Stammler, Mendez, Sisina, and Sasano they team can make Pietra dispensable?


  8. Pacheco–Celades–Petke—Johnson

    That would be an amazing back line and several times better than what we have had in the past… I still want Celades to play CM though.

  9. OK, Ives any word on whether they will wave oscar echevarry and havent they already used up all their international spots?

  10. Excited about a RB? Yes
    Worried about a LB more? Yes
    Hoping the trialist stick? Yes

    To be honest I’d love a completely revamped back line…


    I know I’m getting ahead of myself but I don’t care.


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