Red Bulls Notes: Petke discusses Henry’s contract situation and Moreno’s departure

Mike Petke


The New York Red Bulls enter the 2014 season fresh off of a Supporter’s Shield winning campaign. However, there is an elephant in the room for the franchise entering the regular season, as star forward Thierry Henry begins the final year of his contract.

Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke says that both the team and player are focusing on the ongoing preseason, as contract talks are still a long way off.

“It’s very early in the preseason,” Petke said on a conference call. “Obviously, Thierry wants to focus on the now, focus on the season and getting off to a good start. He’s continuing to do well in the preseason and I think that’s the farthest thing on his mind to be honest with you.

“I think we’d all be foolish to (not) realize that at some point, midseason on, that there will be discussions, because there has to be,” Petke added. “But at this stage, Thierry, I think is doing a great job in prioritizing on the now.”

However, Petke also stated that the Red Bulls are, as always, looking towards the future, as the club has never been one to shy from pursuing Designated Players.

“I don’t think it affects anything right now because no matter if Thierry was in his last year or if he had three more years, we’re always on the radar for potential Designated Players,” Petke said. “As it gets closer, realizing what’s going to go on in the following years after this, we can really narrow our search in a pool of players we’ve already identified as potential DPs.”

Petke went on to say that the Red Bulls make sure to monitor players at every position, including forwards.

“I would guess that if we had two players on our plate DP wise,” Petke said, “and we’re very interested in both of them, one is a midfielder and one is a forward, and we know that there is a deadline coming up, I’m assuming the talks with Thierry would happen, perhaps, before this deadline is met.

“We have players in mind for many positions, and if that time comes where we have to make a decision, we would do our best to find out what the future holds for one of our current players.”


The Red Bulls recently lost one of their brighter academy prospects, Amando Moreno, to Mexican side Tijuana.

The 18-year-old Moreno joined the Red Bulls academy in 2009 and made three first team appearances for the club. Despite the lack of on-field time, Petke thought very highly of Moreno and was disappointed in his departure.

“I’m a big fan of Amando’s,” Petke said with a sigh. “I’ve always been the first one to say that, and he knows that. We have a young player that has potential, who we saw, along with Santiago (Castano) who came from our academy, as one for the future. We have such a what I like to call the “now mentality” with a lot of young players in all sports. It’s just the way life is.”

Petke also addressed the struggles that young players face, specifically with a team as experienced as this Red Bulls side.

“It comes to a situation where you have to find these players minutes or we’re going to have to let them go and begin their career somewhere else,” Petke said. “As a player it’s frustrating, but I’ve never been on a team with this many experienced players. Most positions have two players with pedigree and experience. To have a young player behind them, automatically they’re looking at the third role right there and then it’s up to them to do whatever they can.”


Think Henry re-signs with the Red Bulls? How many more years would you like to see him around? Disappointed Moreno left for Mexico?

Share your thoughts  below.

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42 Responses to Red Bulls Notes: Petke discusses Henry’s contract situation and Moreno’s departure

  1. NASL to el paso tx says:

    I just wonder who will.end up with samuel eto, drogba, ronaldinho, lampard, casillas, friedel, howard and even jozy, since i wouldn’t doubt jozy joining nycfc.
    Red.bull have an open dp, sounders will pay less alonso to get a new Dp, houston needs dps, dc has money now, philly and kc want dps.
    As for henry, he shouldn’t be a dp and they should get 2 new dps n keep henry

    • slowleftarm says:

      None of those guys are coming to MLS.

    • JoeW says:

      First, DCU doesn’t have money to spend. The ownership is on a frugality plan until a new stadium is built. EJ is DCU’s DP and that’s likely to be it.

      Second, most folks don’t realize the tremendous attrition that happens with with professional soccer teams that have youth and academy sides. Probably about 85% of the players signed who are seen as having good potential never end up with first-team minutes (and it’s even worse if you look at any big club other than probably the Dutch sides and Barca).

      Third, while I applaud MLS’s commitment to academies and reserve sides, that still leaves a tremendous bottleneck. There just aren’t that many slots available for promising youth players who do well at the academy. Typically what would have to happen is each MLS team would need to field 2-3 teams at the US Pro/NASL/A-League levels (rather than just farming 2-5 players out to one team). And that’s in addition to have multiple youth teams at EACH level in your academy.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Quit wasting your time worrying about has-been names.

      The question is who wins MLS…that is it. Can’t wait for it to start, because there are quite a few answers to that question right now.

  2. Pep Guardiola says:

    Creating NYRB II could help keep young talented players in the system longer. They should look into that.

  3. michael f. sbi mafia original says:

    Why not keep the young kids and just loan them like everyone else does? There’s more to it than that..

    • Gerald says:

      Moreno was out of contract because RBNY didn’t pickup his option so they tried to renegotiate at a lower number but Xolos came along with a better offer

  4. slowleftarm says:

    There are plenty of areas where we can improve our player development system, but addressing the lack of opportunities for 18-21 year old players making the transition from youth team to the professional level is probably the most pressing issue right now.

  5. Jake says:

    That now mentality is short-sighted. Plain and simple. Great, more Luyindula and Sekagya! Who would rather watch these players? They have no affiliation with the area, no real connection to American football. I don’t see the attraction.

    Mike and other coaches have to realize that the fact that there is no relegation in this league provides them an opportunity. To play a fun style, to promote youth, and to capture the imagination. I really could care less for a 1-0 win. Maybe I’m alone though. Would rather a 4-2 loss watching the likes of A. Moreno, Dax, Alexander, Busta et al.

    • agnigrin says:

      I wouldn’t poo poo Peguy and Sekgaya… I have feeling they will help lead the team this season. Now if you had mentioned Kimura then I would have agreed with you.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I would never prefer losing to winning (and RBNY did win quite a bit last year) but I do think failing to develop young players is short sighted. Ultimately the club will have to pay more to bring in some re-tread like Bradley Wright-Phillips because they let someone like Moreno go. The problem is the lack of places in the US for players in Moreno’s age group to develop.

      • Jake says:

        I hope Moreno goes to Tijuana and makes NYRB look foolish. Had he gotten 700 minutes last year maybe that doesn’t happen. Can’t imagine that would have hurt NYRB that much. In fact I think it would have helped them. In the short and long term.

      • Jake says:

        Winning in soccer can sometimes be overrated.. For example that 2010 Colorado Rapids team. Sorta a dreadful team. But they won the cup. They didn’t win the cup last year but were a pleasure to watch. Go figure.

        • Luis Esco says:

          No one is going to remember the way they played except that they won a trophy which will be of value to the club as time goes on. Its going to be even harder for teams to win trophies with the more teams there are now and ones that will be added in the future.

        • slowleftarm says:

          Winning is the ultimate objective of the game and can never be overrated. It’s nice to play beautiful but soccer isn’t an art form, it’s a sport and the point is to win!!

        • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

          I would love to have the overrated MLS trophy in Seattle this year. Even if they win it ugly, I could die in peace with a smile on my face.

    • beto says:

      +1,MLS will be that much more exciting the day every team is led by a handful of hg-stars.

      But it is interstimg to see a couple of younger players this offseason move to ligamx for pt. Surprised it almost never happens the other way..

    • wagner says:

      I would rather watch those players then Moreno because they are better. Moreno didn’t break into the team and didn’t light it up during Open Cup play. Petke didn’t consider him move valuable then a 4th string foward like Luyindula who was ice cold scoring wise last year.
      Moreno isn’t Agudelo.
      I care more for the Supporters Sheild then letting some unproven guy play.
      This year maybe its a bit different.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      Jake, you should go back and watch the 2009 season. Maybe the Red Bulls sell it on DVD.
      I just looked it up they won 5 games and their average game was 3-1 loss !

  6. SD says:

    i hope they get on the ball and start a url team…if we had one moreno stays….but how much time will moreno get at tijuana???they are stacked at striker…

  7. Tony says:

    When Backe was manager the pundits went crazy! What these foreign coaches don’t know the league and don’t respect the American players, but the fact is that under petke it is business as usual. The young talent is benched. Really you can’t let people play ten minutes, come on! Petke mentions obekop and bover. Yeah they are wasting away on the bench. Petke needs to recognize that he needs to improve in the manner in which he develops talent. As for academy players I would not sign with red bulls. Who has made it? The homegrown deal from red bulls seems more like a nail in the coffin for your career. Plus once you go pro that NCAA scholarship money is gone. Moreno is a young player they never intended to use, why a contract; let him go to college.

    • Jake says:

      So true. Not really sure why this is accepted. I think it’s mostly because it’s hard to see what’s not already there. Teams like LA, Real Salt Lake, and New England understand the value in developing young players. A team like New York only gets by on the size of their market. That said, I think Petke has done a good job in a lot of areas. Youth development notwithstanding.

    • Sean says:

      I was upset about this news. Backe or Petke.

      But this doesn’t compare to Agudelo. Nothing I’ve seen from Moreno in his short time told me anything that’d say he had as much potential as Agudelo.

      Go rub Backe’s feet somewhere else.

    • wagner says:

      What academy player has caught on anywhere else?
      Agudelo aside

    • slowleftarm says:

      That’s because Backe had Agudelo, who was actually good, and instead played that talentless meathead Luke Rodgers. Moreno isn’t as good as Agudelo. And Obekop? He’s had a few opportunities and they haven’t been too impressive.

  8. Tony says:

    Henry’s contract is up this year. Bring the trophies or go home. Personally I’m done with the constant complaining on and off the field. The fact is that this player is no longer playing with heart. He does not come through when it counts. He had a chance to put us on path with a bicycle kick but missed, last years free kick where he didnt man up and let miller kick. Henry needs to be a striker and strike. Yep I don’t care that he can pass. Stop going into the midfield and score when given the ball. If he doesn’t score 15 goals, or gets us an mls cup, let him go back to arsenal!

    • Guys slow down says:

      Tony, you obviously aren’t a RBNY supporter and if you are then you should be ashamed of yourself. Henry always plays with his heart, he wants to win here and he has won. RBNY had the most goals and points last year over a full calendar season. RBNY won the supporters shield which is a legitimate trophy however you slice it. Champions League football is a reality this season. Now the next step is to win, basically a three week tournament after the season ends called the MLS Playoffs for the MLS CUP.

      You dont care if Thierry could pass and make assists? He has to be the one scoring all of the goals? Does it really matter when you win the match and get three points? If you are a RBNY supporter, I hope you aren’t but Kenny Cooper scored lead the team in goals two years ago and last year he had three goals. Thierry created most of Kenny’s goal because of his class, Thierry makes all of his teammates better. You are a silly dude, do you even believe the crap you posted?

      • slowleftarm says:

        Tony’s analysis of Henry isn’t accurate at all in my opinion. Plus RBNY won the SS last season and that’s a far better measure of the quality of the team than whatever happens in the lottery of the MLS cup playoffs.

        This is still a good team and I have high expectations for this upcoming season. I’d like another DP but hopefully that’s coming in the summer.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        Henry ALWAYS plays with heart ?

        Pretty sure he didn’t play with heart in Seattle. Didn’t bother getting on the plane actually.

    • wagner says:

      I think you missed a year. By the way its 2014 and NYRB won the supporters shield last year.

  9. TomG says:

    It’s just all sooo Metrooo. :(

  10. Ethan says:

    Tell ESPN/ABC you aren’t happy about it:

    link to

    Ives: Want to start a petition? This is silly. These games should be on for all Americans to watch.

  11. Joamiq says:

    Moreno’s got talent. They definitely have to find a better solution for these academy products who can’t see time with the first team.