Red Bulls Update: Osorio says Vargas not a target, Freeman out 4-6 weeks

Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio sang the praises of Venezuelan midfielder Ronald Vargas, calling him an excellent player, but Osorio made it clear that Vargas is not a target of the Red Bulls.

"He is a very good player but he is not someone we can afford," Osorio said at Red Bulls media day on Tuesday. "Not with teams in Europe and Argentina getting ready to make big offers for him."

Osorio admitted to having seen Vargas play during a recent trip to South America, but Vargas was not the player he was at the game to watch.

"I saw him he is not the player I was there to see," said Osorio, who would not reveal his actual target.

Osorio stuck to his statements from February that he and the Red Bulls plan on adding one or two players before the end of the current MLS transfer window. Osorio described the three players he is targeting as a left-sided midfielder, a defensive midfielder and a left-footed central defender.

Osorio also stated that one of his targets is a European-based player who the club could wait until the summer transfer window to acquire.

Freeman out 4-6 weeks with ankle injury

Red Bulls defender Hunter Freeman will miss four to six weeks of action after suffering strain ligaments in his right ankle during the U.S. Under-23 national team’s Olympic Qualifying final against Honduras on Sunday.

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62 Responses to Red Bulls Update: Osorio says Vargas not a target, Freeman out 4-6 weeks

  1. Matt says:

    What a disaster of an offseason. All promises – no action.

  2. inkedAG says:


    Why is it that EVERY team in MLS has no problem signing players, but Metro. Seriously, WTF?????

  3. Matt says:

    …and where is the playmaking midfielder? If we are relying on Reyna to do that, we are toast.

  4. Aguinaga says:

    Commence Cloverfield panic mode in 3, 2, 1…

  5. Kosh71 says:

    Of all the games to pick up an injury in…

  6. Amit says:

    Contrary to what one would expect, Mo Johnston made no offseason moves either.

  7. nicholas s. says:

    Is it too late to get a refund on my season tickets?

  8. Bryan says:


    Why is it that EVERY team in MLS has no problem signing players, but Metro. Seriously, WTF?????”

    Are you serious? Who are these mystical players that Toronto has managed to sign?

  9. Dannyc58 says:

    I’m happy we have JCO, but wish he would shut the hell up about signings. Broken friggin’ record.

  10. Trex says:

    So where is the attacking midfielder/playmaker that he said he was looking for. I thought he wanted to get an AM and move Reyna back to DM?

    He seems confidant and I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I am starting to get a little nervous.

  11. Honestly, what do you guys expect… The Red Bulls have yet another new coach and it takes time to build a championship caliber team… we are having another make-over and hopefully if we give Osorio some time it will be a winning proposition.. Dane and hunter got injured… sh*t happens… better now than at the end of the season if you ask me…

  12. JSquaredNY says:

    So disappointing…

  13. Mighty says:

    Every year is the same tihing…. they promise goodplayers then we end up getting some one like….. Alex Coma… lol or some dude that will sit the bench for the next year….. lol… but then we see our Enemy D.C. picking up great players left and right… lol….

  14. kahlva says:

    Hey, in fairness to JCO, he’s not going on and on about signings, he’s just answering questions.

    But a worrying off-season so far. Richards out, Freeman out (with another ankle problem…that’s got to raise red flags)…and no signings. Waiting until Summer to sign an impact player seems, before the season starts, as way too little, too late.

    And if they’re really not targeting an attacking midfielder and are banking on Claudio to do that… Wow. Bad move.

  15. Charlie N. says:

    Maybe Richie Williams can suit up for the first couple of weeks like down in South Carolina..

  16. Jay-Z says:

    No news on Marmol?

  17. Rob C says:

    Why are people saying to stop complaining about the lack of signings? While I agree it isn’t time to panic, it is pretty frustrating that all the Red Bulls have truly done in this offseason is subtract players who gave them quality minutes last year (Kovalenko, Mathis, Vide) and not replaced them despite NUMEROUS promises that they will be replaced.

    Again, since Osorio has not been at the helm for even 3 seconds of meaningful soccer, I’ll reserve judgment. Red Bulls fans basically have to hope that he has this all under control, that he’s well on his way to securing these transfers before April 15th rolls around. Maybe he likes the way the current team plays. Perhaps his tutelage has improved the play at the back as well as the quality of play in the final third.

    One would think that the injuries to Richards and Freeman would force Red Bull’s hand. It appears as though they have not. While not making an imprudent move out of desperation should be praised, the inaction is frustrating.

    The bottom line is that this team on April 5th doesn’t look much different from the mediocre side that left Gilette Stadium disappointed last October.

  18. Hey Mighty,

    Don’t hate – Comas scored 13 goals in 2000. Osorio would kill for that kind of production from third forward this coming season. Hell, 13 is more than you’re likely to get out of Altidore this season, what with all the games he’s going to miss.

  19. inkedAG says:

    Ok, ok, so maybe I thought Toronto had signed someone, or maybe my post had a slight exaggeration to it. The point is, there is so much chatter about what the team needs and there is nothing to show for it.

  20. jerry says:

    This is not good I dont see anything but negative happening its hard to remain optimistic when our starters are getting injured and we dont bring in anybody to replace them I honestly am starting to doubt JCO as being head coach i dont question his tactics in the game but it kills me that when he lead chicago last year he brought in 2 very skilled players to the league wanchope and blanco!!!! and here he is in NY ( supposedly his dream job) and hes yet to do ANYTHING ? wtf is going on?

  21. Eugene says:

    Stuck to his statements? I don’t understand that at all.

    Last time he said 2-3 players and he was looking for a left-sided midfielder, an attacking midfielder and a left-footed defender.

    Now he’s reduced that to 1-2 players and looking for a left-sided midfielder, a defensive midfielder and a left-footed central defender.

    That doesn’t make any sense. Before letting Kovalenko go for pennies, we HAD a quality defensive midfielder and didn’t need to look for one. Before this off-season started, we needed a left back, not a left-footed centerback.

    I’ve lost all confidence in the first half of the season at least (maybe something can be done in the summer transfer window). This team is worse than the team we had under Bruce at the end of last season. Our right wing is injured, our right back is injured, we have no playmaker and we don’t have a credible left wing. The team has looked bad in preseason, generating little offense and there’s no reason to expect it to be better when we play real competitive matches against some of the tougher MLS teams.

    Yeah Osorio brought good defense to Chicago in the second half of ’07, but he also had Blanco pulling the offensive strings. We don’t have that.

    At this point I’m happy I DIDN’T buy season tickets.

    Prove me wrong JCO.

  22. VictorM says:

    So a CAM is not the #1 priority? Hell, one is not even a target.

    Over at Sideline Views (Andrea Canales’s blog) they have an MLS team ranking, which list NYRB at #10. I think it’s about right.

    link to

  23. j says:

    the stinger will be when quaranta starts turning heads in dc

  24. Eugene says:

    Would it be too much to ask for NY to pick up Kiki Musampa, who was passed over by Toronto, as our left wing? How about Amado Guevara as our attacking mid?

    At this point NY doesn’t need to make any “discoveries,” just get quality players to fit those positions!

  25. Athan says:

    Man this team has taken some serious steps back. This is really un-exciting to say the least. Reyna at attacking mid, Goldwaite at left back, no Richards!! Ugh, this team is going to be slow and I don’t see them getting the ball to Angel and Altidore too frequently. There is nobody to breakdown the flanks or center of the park through the midfield. What are Agoos and Osorio doing??!! Even the Supporters Shield winners at least tried to make their team better! Red Bull winners of nothing have done nothing to improve!

  26. Smith says:

    I am so annoyed I bought season tix.

  27. David Berger says:


    Kill me now.

  28. Manny F says:

    I’ll laugh if the European based player Osorio is targeting is Mathis.

    But no I am really not worried. Its the start of the season and most teams aren’t complete until mid-August. The team just needs to stay healthy.

  29. USvsIreland says:

    Are you serious? Who are these mystical players that Toronto has managed to sign?

    Posted by: Bryan


    Don’t you want to set the bar a little higher???

  30. irishapple21 says:

    How disappointing that we can’t seem to actually sign anyone. I wonder if the field turf is scaring people away. Maybe once our facilities are complete we will finally be able to make something happen.

  31. reid says:

    That Eurobased Mid he was talkin bout……… Eddie Lewis

  32. Adam says:

    Hey Ives, is reporting a story on recent interview in Ajax Life Magazine with Michael Bradley and his distaste for the Dutch league.

    Bradley Wants Out Of Heerenveen

    2008-03-25 22:08:42

    Heerenveen midfielder Michael Bradley has announced he wants to leave the Eredivisie, claiming it does not suit his style of play.

    The 20-year-old has been one of the discoveries of the season, scoring 14 goals, but has now set his sights on a move.

    The American is under contract in Friesland until the summer of 2009, but Heerenveen may be forced to sell the wantaway star sooner.

    He told the Ajax Life magazine: “I strive to reach the highest level. It’s time to make the next step.

    “I don’t think the Dutch way of playing football suits me. I see myself as a box-to-box midfielder – I attack and score goals, but I also defend and I win many balls. In Holland it’s often one but not the other.”

    I guess we can rule out Bradley playing for one of the bigger Dutch squads like Ajax.

  33. Coach says:

    “He is a very good player but he is not someone we can afford,” Osorio said at Red Bulls media day on Tuesday. “Not with the albatross named Claudio Reyna hanging around our neck.”

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist making that correction.

    D-mid, aren’t they dime a dozen on our team, and the league?

    And the Olympics? What a disaster for us. Another starter bites the dust and Jozy didn’t do much for his transfer value either.

  34. Haig says:

    More clownish mismanagement of our soccer team. I hope we can get a result against Columbus, because we’re up a creek for the rest of April (Dallas away, New England home, and then a San Jose team that really looked decent in preseason games), and to be on zero points after the first month of the season would be the first few nails in the coffin.

    As far as “just wait until we sign some players” goes, it has NEVER worked for us, and in fact after thirteen years of crap, it’s just a big “thank you for your season ticket money, now FU” to the team’s most loyal supporters.

    I’m afraid that Osorio’s big plan for the offseason was to sign Conde and Marmol, and he didn’t have a plan b. We’ll find out by mid-April if he actually had done any real work finding players, but the fact that we have got NOTHING so far makes me think he has no idea what to do.

    Does the Red Bull braintrust sit around and try to figure out how to demoralize its own supporters? If so, dumping fan favorites while having no real plan to bring in anyone knew was a good first start. Losing to Columbus at the home opener would be another step.

  35. Joamiq says:

    The FO needs to start offering season-minus-the-first-month tickets.

  36. aristotle says:

    This is a really bad time for me to say “I told you so”, so I won’t.

    I thought about it and decided that it wouldn’t be right for me to mention that I posted about a month ago saying that NYRB was going backwards and would be lucky to finish in front of more than three teams in MLS the way they were going, and that everyone jumped all over me for saying so, while some of them were talking about possible runs at the MLS Cup.

    That kind of comment when so many people are so upset just wouldn’t be right. I also wouldn’t want to make a comment about how the season is about to start and the NYRB are being taken apart by teams like San Jose who also aren’t complete.

    Ok, ok! I take it back!:)

  37. mgp says:

    Wow, bad luck for Freeman and the Red Bulls…

    1) Does anyone know if this is the same ankle Freeman hurt last year?

    2) Is it premature (probably) to call Freeman injury prone? It seems like he’s had some sort of injury ever since he was traded…

  38. Aguinaga says:

    2 ways to look at it, once and for all:

    Option 1 – Glass half full:

    1. We have an experienced, proven, motivated head coach for the first time in years, with coaching experience in the Premier League and in South America, with the connections that come with it, who understands and can converse the language of futbol to very different types of people. A serious, hard working, disciplined, tactically versed man with tons of potential who actually wants to face the challenge of coaching in NY, and won’t back down from anyone. A futbol Swiss army knife, if you will.

    2. The team is well below the salary cap, allowing Juan Carlos Osorio to spend wisely, use his connections to patiently scout, & sign quality players to fill the team’s needs. But NOT in a rush out of panic, & not at the cost of sacrificing the team’s future. This team’s problems go back YEARS. It will be a long time before they are fixed. I choose to deal with it, despite my internet era sense of instant entitelement to information.

    3. The last 2 Houston teams that ended up champions had below .500 starts: a combined 6-8-3 in April and May. If we can break close to even and get those long awaited reinforcements by June, who knows? No one gave the NY Giants a chance either…

    Option 2 – Glass all empty:

    1. I will despair now, before the team has even played a single meaningful game. Because all we hear are lies and more lies. My grandmother could do better at managing this team. We suck. We really do. We always have. And therefore, we always will. No matter what. Yet I feel the need to repeat my stance infinitely in public forums devoted to the team, vent my frustration, whine I told you so at every defeat, and in so doing seek a small sense of comfort for myself. Because between my refusal to stop following the team permanently, and yet my insistence to infinitely whine and propogate my cynicism, the entity remaining truly hopeless is me.

    2. See #1

    Choose your option wisely…

  39. groovester says:

    Does the glass half full option take into consideration that jozy won’t be around after July?

  40. Frimp says:

    Aguinaga – thanks for that post. I agree. I am a little concerned about the beginning of the season but as has been pointed out numerous times on this site, the beginning matters little. That’s of course another topic. I’m still glad I bought season tix again, because I didn’t just get them for this year, but for every year. The Bosox won eventually, I just hope the metros win while I’m still alive, then all will be sweet.

    Time for a drink either way…

  41. J says:

    can we say “Oops” to RSL? Oops we did not mean to trade you Dema…give him back for ham sandwich? They did that last year with Rimado haha…sigh…

  42. Ceez says:

    What all these reactions boil down to is just a sense of frustration over unfulfilled promises. Had this been the first time, all would be well. But it seems like making all these promises and a lack of results is an overplayed card that management has grown too accustomed to playing. It’s becoming a bit trite and it’s very frustrating.

    As said by fellow Metrofans, I’ll give Osorio some time to show me/us what he’s done with the squad as far as coaching goes. But trust that if the season is a failure (read: we don’t AT LEAST make it to the conference finals or mls cup), everyone will point fingers at management, not the players, for a very diappointing offseason that could have been used to better the talent.

    If you ask me, the current squad doesn’t exactly instill any sense of fear or intimidation.

    We shall see.

  43. Aguinaga, I’m curious; just how are you and Juan Carlos Osorio related? JCO more “proven” and “experienced” than Bob Bradley and Bruce Arena? That’s a laugh. No way to tell how he’s going to pan out, but Osorio was a strength and conditioning coach (and then assistant, IIRC) in the Premier League, not Mourinho Mk. II. Followed by a cup of coffee in Colombia, before he got outta Dodge for Chicago. Before he got outta Dodge for NJ. Before…

  44. Smith says:

    Okay, our opening day line-up?

    GK: Conway

    D: Goldie, Parke Mendes

    DM: Stammler Reyna

    Lm: DVDB

    Rm: Sassano

    AM: Magee

    Up top: JPA, Altidore


  45. Mark says:

    We just need someone to feed JPA and Jozy the ball and let them do their thing. Whether that’s Claudio or Magee or Sinisa or VDB or someone new, I don’t care. Just make sure we put these guys in position to score and we’ll do OK. If we can’t get them the ball, it’s going to be a rough season.

    Though we haven’t added anyone in the back, I truly believe Parke, Mendes and the crew are capable of playing better than the stat sheet has indicated the past couple years, so I’m hopeful that we’ll be solid on that side of the ball.

    I’m not a Conway or Thornton fan, so that’s another huge defiency in my mind as well. Hopefully one of them will play better than I expect.

    As grim as things look now, regardless of what happens on the field, RB need to give JCO more than one year to get this right. Otherwise it’s going to be a repeat of the past 4 season with a different coach each year. Need to have some consistency to build towards something so that when RB Park opens we have a team that is ready to contend for trophies.

  46. aristotle says:


    Why do they need to give Osorio more than a year? They didn’t give Arena more than a year.




    Vandenberg Questionable

    Sassano Questionable

    Magee Questionable

    Reyna Questionable

    Stammler Questionable

    Goldthwaite Questionable

    Mendes Questionable

    Parke Questionable

    Conway Questionable

    Are you saying you find this lineup questionable?

    It really is a shame there is no promotion/relegation system in place between MLS and USL. If there was, at least NYRB fans would be able to get excited about the relegation battle they would be in.

  47. Frog says:

    Does anyone think that this means that JCO is putting his trust in Magee not Reyna as the ACM?

  48. Tim F. says:


    Can you ask JCO about the CAM? As VictorM. said, where did that go from being #1 priority before mid April to not even being mentioned?

    And as Eugene said:

    Last time he said 2-3 players and he was looking for an attacking midfielder, a left-sided midfielder, and a left-footed outside back.

    Now he’s reduced that to 1-2 players and looking for a left-sided midfielder, a left-footed central defender and a defensive midfielder.

    Where did the desire to fill CAM and Left back go? I’m assuming Marmol can/will fill d-mid spot?


  49. alex says:

    Kiki Musampa ended up signing for FC Soul for the equivalent of MLS DP money. He’s not a realistic option for any MLS team really. If Mo Johnston was smart he never would have wasted his time looking at someone who was too good for a regular wage, but too crappy for the DP slot.

  50. Eugene says:

    Michael Lewis is reporting that it’s still three players that Osorio is looking at, although the priorities have definitely changed.

    Somehow the new priorities sound to me like: left-sided midfielder, Wilman Conde (left-footed centerback), Lider Marmol (defensive midfielder).

    Frankly, the original priorities of left wing, left back and attacking mid (not necessarily in that order) were what the team has needed since the end of last season, before Osorio was even hired (and even long before the end of last season).

    These new priorities aren’t going to cut it. They’re not going to make the team an intimidating competitor or something appealing for the fans to watch. And they’re not going to bring us home a trophy.

    Its been reported that NY has significant cap space that can be used to bring in impact players. Why is it such a problem then to get these guys if we have the money to pay, we’ve got one of the most enticing cities in the world and other teams in MLS have been able to attract the key pieces?

    BTW, thanks Alex for clarifying why no other team took an interest in Musampa, who from his experience and position, should have been high on the list of players to bring in if not for his salary demands.

  51. Eugene says:

    link to

    Michael Lewis link.

    By the way, for those who haven’t seen it, the Metrofanatic interviews today are fantastic. I particularly loved the VDB interview — classic!

  52. Joamiq says:

    Where are you people getting this idea that JCO has now “reduced that to 1-2 players”? He’s adding 1-2 before the transfer window ends and 3 overall. That hasn’t changed.

    aristotle, are you forgetting that this is MLS? RB can forfeit the first month of games and still make the playoffs.

  53. sebibond1 says:

    I hate to say it, but given Metro/RB’s history of coaching turnover, the crappy field that we play in, the cost of living in our area, and the utter lack of success throughout our history, please tell me what is so attractive about playing for RB? It’s not like we have the pick of the litter, so we’ll have to be patient and hope for some scraps to come our way from South America. Quite frankly, I think JCO is overrated. Saying he was an assistant in the EPL is a bit of an overstatement. I doubt he was Keegan’s right hand man or anything like that. If I were interested in signing for MLS, I’d look at the Galaxy, DC and Houston first. RB would be 4th-5th option.

  54. aristotle says:


    That didn’t really have anything to do with my thinking because I wasn’t assuming, like you obviously are, that RBNY will actually sign a few players that will make it into a team that can come off of a bad start and make the playoffs. Now that you mention it though, I think you might be the one forgetting. It will actually be considerably harder this year. A whopping six teams will be eliminated. That’s more than %40 of the league. That’s a far cry from when all you had to do was avoid finishing last. You’re basically saying that even if RBNY were to get off to a bad start, after they sign their players in the summer they will easily be able to finish in front of more than six teams. You have a higher opinion of NYRB’s current situation than I do. Plus, other teams will sign players as well.

  55. Jey says:

    Off topic but I figured everyone might be interested in this: link to

    apparently Beasley is well ahead of schedule in terms of his recovery, so there is a possibility he may be ready by World Cup qualifying or sooner. Hopefully nothing is rushed.

  56. Joamiq says:

    aristotle, you’re joking with the “whopping six teams”, right? Like, you don’t really think that 6 teams eliminated is monumentally more difficult to overcome than 5, right? And you’re not actually assuming that RB isn’t going to sign anyone, right?

    Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t say, as you claim, that the team will “easily” be able to finish in front of the bottom six. I don’t think the team is in great shape, and dropping points early in the season doesn’t help. That said, finishing 8th out of 14 only takes a late season hot streak. Look at how close last season’s Galaxy came after being declared dead very early on. You can’t play your way out of an MLS playoff spot in the first month. If RB gets off to a bad start and signs 2-3 new players, it’s not a stretch to say they’ll still have a reasonable shot at making the playoffs.

  57. aristotle says:


    I’m not sure if you are deliberately twisting what I said in my post, or if you are really having a hard time comprehending what I was saying.

    I said “It will actually be considerably harder this year. A whopping six teams will be eliminated. That’s more than %40 of the league. That’s a far cry from when all you had to do was avoid finishing last.”

    The use of the word “whopping” was a little bit tongue in cheek. I was hoping that was obvious, but I can certainly understand you not seeing it that way. However, that being said, it is going to be harder this year than last year, and much harder then when the league only eliminated two teams. That’s triple. Yes, that’s much harder. For some reason you turned my “considerably harder” into “monumentally more difficult”. Why? You’re picking on your own words that you attributed to me. To make your argument more valid you had to change what I said.

    Also, your mentioning of the Galaxy seems to support my argument more than yours, so I don’t know why you would even mention it. The Galaxy didn’t make it, did they? Even though they had one less team to pass. That demonstrates how hard that will be this year, not the other way around.

    Then you said:

    “And you’re not actually assuming that RB isn’t going to sign anyone, right?”

    No, I wasn’t, and I didn’t say that either. Why are you even asking me that when I clearly reference NYRB signing players in my post? I said, I wasn’t assuming, like you are, that NYRB’s signings would necessarily get their season turned around because the players aren’t guranteed to be good signings and other teams will have new signings too.

    You said:

    “aristotle, are you forgetting that this is MLS? RB can forfeit the first month of games and still make the playoffs.”

    That’s not saying that it would be easy for RBNY to finish in front of six teams after a bad start to the season? You’re saying they could forfeit a month’s games and still do it.

    You said:

    “Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t say, as you claim, that the team will “easily” be able to finish in front of the bottom six.”

    Again refer to your above quote where you say NYRB could forfeit the whole first month and still do it.

  58. brett says:

    coach- “And the Olympics? What a disaster for us. Another starter bites the dust and Jozy didn’t do much for his transfer value either”

    how do you figure?? while he didnt score, he showed that he can still produce with 2 sometimes even 3 players marking him…. while i say produce im refering to forcing the defence to foul him outside the box which led to so many chances for adu, some of which resulted in goals….

    i dont like saying it, but i wouldnt be surprised if this increased his value in England.. id much rather see him playing somewhere else tho

  59. Mark says:


    The team simply can’t start from scratch every year. I’m not a huge Bruce Arena fan, but they should have given him more time to build the team. Of course that’s a moot point, so now they need to give JCO more time to build the team. There are always exceptions(his wife may miss Chicago, he proves to be utterly incompetant), but then we’ll be setup for failure yet again in 2009 when the new stadium is ready.

    I just want some consistency in the coaching staff and some patience from our Austrian friends to build a product that is worth paying for after years of failure. I don’t think that is too much to expect…

  60. inkedAG says:

    Aristotle, for what it’s worth, I agreed with you a month ago and I agree with you now!

  61. Coach says:

    Brett – I stick by my comment. I didn’t say he hurt his value but that he didn’t do much – if anything – to help it. Strikers are paid to score goals.

    Not that RB would do anything useful with their chunk of his transfer value anyway.

  62. aristotle says:


    We are in agreement. I wasn’t suggesting JCO be fired in less than a year. I was just wanting to know why it was alright for Arena, but not for JCO.