Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Salou Signs; MLS Cup at RBA Unlikely in 2010

Last night, the Red Bulls made the signing of Belgian/Ghanaian striker Ibrahim Salou from Danish club Vejle BK official, dropping a press release after business hours.  Salou (above) was a real handful for Santos FC defenders in the Grand Opening game and should provide some badly needed competition for places up front.

Update: For some reason, the release announcing the Salou signing has now been taken down by RBNY and MLS.  Not sure what that means.  Trust us - it was there last night!

Update 2: The deal has now been confirmed by Erik Solér on Twitter:
I would like to welcome Ibrahim Salou to the NY Red Bulls. Ibrahim is an athletic and physical forward who will immediately improve our team
If, as expected, Juan Agudelo signs on the dotted line with MLS this week, you really have to wonder if John Wolyniec's appearance on Saturday might be the only time we see him play in a Red Bulls shirt in Harrison.  Including Agudelo, the club would be carrying five legitimate forwards if no cuts are made - Angel, Salou, Chinn, Wolyniec and Kandji.  As a likely Generation Adidas player, however, Agudelo would not count against the Red Bulls' salary budget, unlike Wolyniec, who earned $80,000 in 2009.  As a "home grown" player (like DC United's Andy Najar), Agudelo would also presumably not count against the 24 man roster. 

Also on Tuesday, Don Garber held a lengthy media conference call to discuss details from the new collective bargaining agreement and other matters.  For me, there were two big revelations.  The first is that MLS Cup is unlikely to played in Harrison in 2010.  Garber cited the need for the Red Bulls to iron out new stadium issues, adding that RBA would be an ideal venue for a future final.  Expect it to be a lock for 2011.  Second, Garber stated that the league may very well decide to add a second designated player for each club - and soon.  What this would mean for the Red Bulls, who already hold two DP slots as the result of the Guevara trade to Chivas USA, is still unclear.  Watch this space.

Today should bring more revelations, as clubs make changes to align themselves with the 24-man roster.  Our friends at ThreeFourThree have hinted on their Twitter feed at an additional player signing for the Red Bulls, one that "isn't a name [we] have heard of yet."  We're intrigued.  Let the speculation begin...
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