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Olave returns to RSL via trade from Red Bulls


Photo by Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports


Just hours after losing two of the teams’ more experienced players in Wednesday’s MLS Expansion Draft, Real Salt Lake took an immediate step to bring back one of their former stars.

It was announced Monday that RSL had acquired defender Jamison Olave in a trade with the New York Red Bulls, who received allocation money in exchange. Olave spent the past two season with the Red Bulls following a five-year stint with Real Salt Lake.

“This was a difficult decision for the club but was made mainly due to salary cap considerations,” said Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh in a statement. “It’s disappointing to see a player like Jamison leave the club, but we want to thank him for his service to the New York Red Bulls and we wish him all the best on his return to his previous club.”

Olave made 97 appearances and scored 10 goals throughout his stay with RSL, who he joined in 2008 from Deportivo Cali of his native Colombia.

The Colombian defender was traded to the Red Bulls in the 2012 offseason and featured in 57 regular season games, scoring four goals while also helping the club to the 2013 Supporters’ Shield.


What do you think of RSL’s acquisition of Olave? Like the trade? What moves do you expect the Red Bulls to make in response?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Someone please explain how/ why RB looking for allocation $ We just got rid off about $7 MM with Henry and Cahill out the door so WTF are we doing?

    • Only a small part of the $7MM from Henry and Cahill count toward the cap. Not sure of the exact number but is is somewhere around 350K for Henry, and Cahil is still on the books. So the Red Bull are correct, and Olave’s full salary was against the cap. That being said the Red Bull definitely have some major holes to fill. The one thing that I find odd it that a few teams have made moves to clear cap space, but isn’t the CBA up and everyone is expecting the salary cap for the league to have a significant increase?

  2. Olave looked noticeably slow to me this year and was beaten on more than a few one-on-one, breakaway type situations. He may have one good year left in the tank, but doubt he’s got more than that.

    Having said that, unless RBNY come up with two DP-caliber centerbacks, we’re in for a long and painful season.

  3. Classic NYRB, letting him go instead of making cap space to keep him. Classic MLS, not telling us exactly what we got for him. How much allocation money?

      • Unlikely that RSL is going to re-acquire a player they just left unprotected going into the expansion draft…they might want them back in a year or two.

        Either way, both RSL and RBNY are going through rebuilding years.

      • Borchers and Grabavoy knew they were getting picked, it was an awful expansion daft for us. The problem is now we have two CBs that get hurt a lot Shuler and Olave. Borchers was way more reliable and consistent than both of them. Grabavoy made our engine run that guy did the dirty work in the middle and we was not appreciated as much as he should have. I thought we would keep Wingert, because of his age and salary but he is another guy that was great for us for years but started sliding in the end. All will be completely missed. Sad day to be an RSL fan.

  4. This is crazy. He is the type of player you make cap space for, not the kind you jettison to create cap space. RBNY’s front office is on probation right now. The team has lost its best offensive Mayer and its best defensive player. We’re waiting . . .

  5. Very disappointed to see a player of Olaves caliber leave the Red Bulls, but I’m confident the FO will replace him with someone who’s fully capable and more affordable. The Red bulls are also far from finishing the roster so everybody just calm down. Also, I think Meara will beat out Robles for GK which gives us some nice trade bait to play around with.

  6. This is the worst news! The only defender on the team has left. I could not care if henry or even cahill left but olave was a rock in the back. Poor Robles! So this is what petke meant by fans need to be patient. They are starting a kid next to sekaya! Maybe the real news is yet another beef between petke and a red bulls player. Tired of petke! This coach was given a championship team and he is slowly destroying it over three seasons. I hope the journalist are happy with their American mls coach.

    • You really think he was given a “championship squad”? I must have missed all those Hans Backe MLS Cup winning teams. He reached the semi-finals this year and won the Supporters Shield in his first year and you’re blaming him? How about blaming the front office for not getting him better players?

  7. It’s going to be an excruciatingly long year next year(s) for this organization. Right when the competition comes to town too . . . BWP, he is a finisher, but with more quality chances per game than I have seen in a long time due to TH presence and distribution, I feel his tally was inflated and he won’t prove to be worth the money.

    What do they have left? They are so much weaker than they were already, and that’s when Conor Lade was their hope off the bench with the season on the line.

  8. He is showing signs of aging, and it is *possible* to find a better CB than him for his salary + allocation, but I can’t say I have much faith in the FO that thought Armando and Sekagya were acceptable CB starters. RB now in dire need of TWO quality CBs.


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