BY DAVE MARTINEZ
Will reinforcements be joining the New York Red Bulls soon? As of now, it doesn’t seem likely.
With the April 15th transfer deadline only days away, Coach Hans Backe remains skeptical about the options he may have available to join his side. The Red Bulls boss seems to be in no rush to make any hasty acquisitions.
“Not really. We have a couple of names but we still have the feeling that it’s not the type of guys we really want to spend some money on.”
The Red Bulls have repeatedly stated they need to replace the pace and workrate lost at forward after Luke Rodgers failed to acquire a work visa last week. The team has scored nine goals in the past two matches at home which has eased the pressure of obtaining a prototype in the vein of the Englishman. Though a completely different dynamic, Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry have shown an early and lethal chemistry whensoever they have been paired. “Our strikers have done phenomenal,” Backe said. “They have scored 9 out of our 10 goals.”
The April deadline also falls in line with a particular evaluation period Backe set at the beginning of the season. It has been a month, and Ryan Meara has had his fair share of starts. The Red Bull’s coach said he would give his keepers a month to prove their worth before the team decides to dip in the market for a veteran option to reinforce the team. Red Bull’s General Manager Erik Soler also told SBI last week that the team would be in the market for one or two players – not necessarily just forwards.
With four matches in the book, and a shaky first half performance against the Montreal Impact, will New York be pursuing a keeper before the 15th? “We need the third goalie, definitely,” Backe admitted. “We can’t go the whole season with two goalies. Meara has a future. It will be up and down all the time but we haven’t decided if we will sign a veteran or not.”
Goalkeeping coach Todd Hoffard has been working closely with Meara on a weekly basis. “I don’t think it’s good for him to have too many voices talking about performances,” Backe continued. “(Meara is a) Low key guy, working hard – I can’t see any problems.”
THIERRY HENRY, MLS PLAYER OF THE MONTH
The North American Soccer Reporters have voted Red Bull’s captain Thierry Henry MLS Player of the month. The dynamic forward has scored five goals and three assists through four matches this year, leading all scorers in MLS. His three assists also have him tied for second in the entire league.
The Player of the Month honors follow two straight MLS Player of the Week recognitions. In that time span, he score the bulk of his points, nothing five goals and two assists.
Thierry Henry becomes the first Red Bull to achieve this honor since Juan Pablo Angel did in 2007. The Colombian striker earned the honor on both May and June of that year.
RED BULLS NOTES
- Backe revealed that Teemu Tainio, who was nursing various injuries including a deep ankle bruise, picked up a bad knock to the knee that will likely see him missing his second game of the season.
- Rafa Marquez participated in training but is still nursing a groin strain. Victor Palsson will be the team’s first option off the bench to team with Dax McCarty if he is not healthy enough to perform.
- Wilman Conde continued to train on his own this Thursday, doing light jogging and sprinting work by the sideline. His status is still doubtful for Saturday and he may be a game time decision.