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Red Bulls Notes: Soler hints at Rodgers return, Marquez out for Montreal & more

Rodgers (Getty Images)


The high-profile news continues to pour out of Red Bull Arena.

On the heels of Thursday's trade that sent Juan Agudelo to Chivas USA for Heath Pearce, Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler told reporters Friday that Luke Rodgers may suit up for the New York Red Bulls this season after all.

Soler hinted at a summer return for Rodgers, whose visa was denied prior to the start of the season, thus making him ineligible to play for the club. Since the initial visa denial, Rodgers has been at Norwegian club Lillestrom, where he has played in five games and scored one goal, which came on his debut.

"We hope to have him back when the window opens at the end of June," Soler said.

Rodgers' potential return, which would be possible after the opening of the summer transfer window, would certainly lend further explanation as to why the club was so willing to part ways with Agudelo.

Here are a few more notes from the Red Bulls:


Rafa Marquez won't be making the trip to Montreal for Saturday's match against the Impact. 

Nursing what Hans Backe called a "soft" Achilles injury, Marquez has been left out of the squad for the match as the Red Bulls go for their fifth consecutive victory. The exclusion only adds fuel to the fiery rumors that the club is looking to offload the Mexican Designated Player.

The club's other DP, Thierry Henry, has been sidelined with a hamstring strain and is close to his return but won't play against Montreal. According to Soler, the Red Bulls captain is ready but the team did not want to force the issue on the notoriously decrepit pitch at L’Stade Olympique.

"We didn't want to risk anything with the turf," Soler said. “We are going to be very careful."

Mehdi Ballouchy, who cannot travel to Canada because he does not have a green card, is out for the match, and Backe hinted that Jan Gunnar Solli would be out as well. Pearce was at Red Bulls training Friday and is fully expected to participate with his new club.


Things have taken a terrible turn for Teemu Tainio.

Backe, who has been cautious when speaking of his midfielder’s health all season, revealed that the Finnish international will be out for two months with a knee injury – and that would be a best case scenario.

“That kind of knee injury is quite tough, so I think it will be a decision made in 6-to-8 weeks if he has to stop his career,” Backe said. “It’s frustrating. He is a key player for us in the midfield, and I think we will probably know in 6-8 weeks if he will be back or not.”

Although Tainio has been invaluable to the team when healthy, the midfielder’s condition has long been a concern for the team. Backe has said as early as preseason that he would only be relied upon for a handful of games. This development will certainly cloud that assessment. 

“It hasn’t been the knee before. It has been more hamstrings, thigh injuries, fatigue muscles and things like that, but this is a rough one with the knee, with the ACL,” the coach noted. “He has had some injuries and this is quite rough one. I was a little bit surprised but let’s see if they can fix it now.”

Perhaps alluding to the loss of Tainio, Soler made mention that the acquisition of Pearce would allow the team to patch up their losses on the backline as well as the central defensive midfield position. 

Tainio, who has played a vital part in the Red Bulls midfield since joining the club, has only started in two matches this season, making three appearances for the club and accumulating 180 minutes of play.


The Red Bulls have fined, but not suspended, centerback Wilman Conde for his aggravated assault of a police officer last weekend that resulted in his arrest. 

Both Backe and Soler do not expect the league to punish the player any further than what the club has determined. Conde, who has played in just two of the Red Bulls 10 matches this season, has been nursing a groin injury. He will be made available for Wednesday’s tilt against Chivas USA at home and is expected to start.


  1. Weren’t Juventus willing to pay a transfer of 5 million for Marquez? Can Rdbulls hide all their videos and send Juventus some old Barcelona matches?

  2. A “soft” Achilles injury? Oy.

    Poor Tainio. Disappointing to hear that even at the beginning of the year Backe wasn’t counting on him for much. RBNY sure seems to know how to pick injury-prone veterans. Has any MLS club dealt with this much injury trouble only 11 games into the season. It’s M*A*S*H on the Passaic!

  3. He was literally denied on the first visa attempt. I wouldn’t hold my breath on attempt 2 though you never know.

    To the extent NYRB “transferred” him would there be a three teams in one season issue? I don’t know if he was registered and we know he wasn’t used or dressed but he was under contract, he just couldn’t fulfill it?

    He costs twice what Agudelo does with modestly more production, and that’s considering what I will politely re-cast as NYRB’s degree of affection for him…..they quite simply played him more minutes than Juan, who is 19.

    Big picture I don’t see how the team improves by recycling players. Definition of insanity. Agudelo was sufficiently productive when used it’s not addition by subtraction.

  4. Who in their right mind would trade for Rafa? He’s takes up a DP spot, making $5 mil, and on top of all that he’s a MAJOR headache. The only way for the Red Bulls to unload him is to sell him to a sucker who is more of a sucker than RBNY.

  5. What’s with NYRB’s hard on for Luke Rodgers? He is a solid player but it’s not like he’s Messi. Can’t they find another professional soccer player somewhere in the world who won’t have such a tough time getting a visa?

  6. I got something better than a caption contest: can someone with photoshop skills please take this photo of Rodgers and somehow place either a toilet or a rodeo bull underneath him, then post the link? that would make my CENTURY.

  7. That pic is a ridiculous as all the develoments in this article!

    Marquez or Conde could end up in Toronto.

    Pack the back in Montreal and hopefully we can weather the Agudelo hat trick when we play Chivas.

    I am excited for the post break with RB!


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