The Red Bulls completed their second pre-season friendly and have spent almost two weeks in California. If you’re wondering how things are going, wonder no more. Here is a rundown of some tidbits from Red Bulls training camp.
Jeff Parke was nursing a groin injury, which is why he didn’t play vs. Hammarby on Friday.
Francis Doe is also out with an undisclosed injury. He was slated to start in the club’s first match of the week but has been sidelined with an injury since.
Dave Van Den Bergh has left the team and returned home for personal reasons.
Trinidad & Tobago defender Atiba Charles has left camp and isn’t coming back. He was in camp for one day and, let’s just say, he was awful.
Not Red Bulls related but Charlie Davies was nursing a groin injury, which is why he didn’t play against the Red Bulls.
Diego Serna is still in camp but is struggling to make a real impact and looks like a real longshot to make the team. Sources tell me his inclusion in camp was a courtesy invite more than anything.
Juan Carlos Osorio’s desire to incorporate a 3-4-1-2 formation could lead to the club dealing one of its central defenders. Jeff Parke and Carlos Mendes could be vying for a roster spot, with the loser of that competition being trade bait. Rookie Eric Brunner has looked good and his ability to find the net gives him an edge over the club’s established veterans.
While suggestions of Dema Kovalenko’s form being off in camp may be a bit premature, what seems clear is that he will have to renegotiate his deal to stay wtih the Red Bulls. Kovalenko made just under $200K last season and with Seth Stammler signing a new deal that will pay him $105K in 2008, the Red Bulls will likely have to part ways with one of these players unless Kovalenko takes a significant pay cut. With rookie Luke Sassano playing well in camp as a defensive midfielder, and Reyna expected to play a deeper role once a true attacking midfielder is signed, the chances are actually very good that either Kovalenko or Stammler will be traded. The Red Bulls would certainly find takers for both.
Osorio is still on the hunt for a left winger and left-footed central defender BUT he is close to landing an attacking midfielder. According to a team source, the Red Bulls are confident of being able to close in on a new attacking midfielder before the end of the current MLS transfer window. No word on who the player is yet.
That’s all for now. Share your thoughts on these developments below.