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Red Bulls ‘no longer an option’ for Vega

Vega (Reuters Pictures)


As the New York Red Bulls opened their preseason camp two weeks ago, coach Hans Backe surveyed the landscape of his young goalkeeping ranks and assessed the need for an established veteran to take a leadership role.

Despite being heavily rumored to be grasping that role, Venezuelan netminder Renny Vega will not be the one manning the posts at Red Bull Arena this season.

Vega's agent confirmed that talks between both parties had been ongoing, but have since broken down.

"The New York Red Bulls are no longer an option," Vega's agent said. "The Red Bulls know which way they want to scout and people they want to pick. Erik Soler has a mentality of where he wants to be headed and where he wants to find players, and I wish him the best."

As recently as last week, Vega, 32, had been vocal about his desire to play for the Red Bulls. Since vacationing in the Big Apple this December, the 2011 Venezuelan Player Of The Year and current Caracas FC backstop gushed about the opportunity to ply his trade stateside, saying he would "go to New York with (his) eyes closed!"

That no longer seems to be a possibility.

Vega's agent declined to comment on the nature of the discussions with New York, nor the possibility of further negotiations with other MLS sides. The Red Bulls offered no comment on the topic.

With the start of the season a few weeks away, New York currently has two netminders in place: recent acquisition Jeremy Vuolo, 25, formerly of Finnish side AC Oulo, and 21-year-old MLS SuperDraft pick Ryan Meara. Former goalkeeper Frank Rost is no longer in the teams plans.

The Red Bulls are said to be looking into another young American trialist while in Mexico. Nevertheless, barring an unexpected swoop for a veteran keeper, it looks more and more likely that Vuolo has the upper hand in this year's battle for that starting goalkeeper role.


Can New York be competitive with a second-year professional manning the backline? Do you think the Red Bulls need to bring in a more experienced goalkeeper to be the starter?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Originally Backe mentioned getting a veteran but has backed off those comments lately. Which makes me think that Vuolo and Meara have shown enough in camp to be starters. Plus, they have a bunch of guys making pretty good money. Maybe they’re capped out and can’t afford a veteran keeper.

  2. lol SBI anti-NY? lol! SBI is notoriously pro-NY see all the pro-Ream overhyping they have done over the last 2 years to the detriment of our national team.

  3. I’m with Ives on this one, go talk to that Venezuela keeper that took away like 5 goals from Brek Shea and Chris Wondolowski, hell he went up against some of the best MLS has to offer and pretty much was perfect on all tries…..

    They should be able to sign a guy from Venezuela, or find a good keeper in a league where the best keeper title switches from week to week because we have so many good ones…

  4. Actually I see Ives answering to people who say that he’s RBNY lover or homer…

    For example he always has to defend the notion that RBA is always less than half empty and that it has horrible crowd problems despite having an above average close to 20K crowd and that when they all finally show up to the game on game day, it’s pretty good….

    Granted a lot of people don’t show up to games, but it still has a good crowd and no where near the 10-12K people claim sometimes in comparison to Dallas, Columbus, Colorado etc etc, out of the 19-20K, I would say about 17-18K show up, Ives can correct me on that

  5. SBI: Why the constant RBNY hate? Did you try to get a job with them and failed? Matt never once said “He’s good enough to start”…his exact line was “Let’s be honest – none of us really know how good he is.”

    Ives, my man, ever the hater. All this guy did was point out that Oulu were in the First division when Vuolo arrived.

    Rule #1 of journalism: don’t make up the facts. Rule #2: don’t take sides. Stop the RBNY hate all the time.

    (SBI-Give me a break. How is it hate to express opinions? Just because I point out when the team does poorly, makes mistakes, or just plain looks foolish, that doesn’t make me a “hater”. I praise the Red Bulls when they deserve it, like when they re-signed Joel Lindpere, and even when they drafted Ryan Meara, and I criticize them when it’s called for. What you need to understand Chris is that journalists are allowed to have opinions and express them. Instead of pretending you have a clue what my job entails, how about sticking to rooting for your team?)

  6. To be fair, Vuolo played in Finland’s first division when he arrived. AC Oulu were relegated because of financial irregularities after his first season.

    Let’s be honest – none of us really know how good he is.

    (SBI-Matt my man, ever the optimist. He wasn’t rated as a prospect out of college, latches onto some struggling Finnish club, and winds up here because his agent was tight with Soler. Yep, that screams “he’s good enough to start” for me. Not to knock the kid but it isn’t tough to read the resume and project him as more of a back-up than a starter. COULD NY get extremely lucky and uncover a gem? Sure, they COULD, but I wouldn’t call it likely.)

  7. This guy was never in the Red Bulls plans. I would bet the agent just picked up Erik Soler’s name off the Internet. How many South American players has Soler picked up since he’s been in NY? Outside of Conde who was a for MLSer, it’s zero.

    I also don’t think Soler & Backe are going with Vuolo as the #1 keeper, they know how important the position is… so we’re back to watchful waiting until there is an announcement.

  8. you’re giving too much credit to vuolo, as did soler, because he’s coming from europe. he played SECOND DIVISION FINLAND… may be able to argue that the level that meara has shown is better than that of vuolo….just a thought….but c’mon..second division finland carries weight in mls? what is this, 1998?

  9. Bringing an experienced keeper in seemed to work for the Philthadelphia Union, but if Vuolo is good, u never know. I find it hard to believe there isnt an experienced 30 something yr old keeper not wanting to come to NY.

  10. I watched Vega in the Libertadores when FC Caracas played against PeƱarol and he was flat out awful. Would rather have Vuolo than another poor decision maker. Who knows? Maybe Soler has someone else up his sleeve.


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