Thursday, March 11, 2010

Toronto on the Passaic

Is the area around Red Bull Arena going to look like this by opening day?

After a few weeks of relative silence on the transfer front, the Red Bulls announced this morning that former Toronto FC and Montreal Impact goalkeeper Greg Sutton has signed with the club.  Details of the transaction were not disclosed, though the Red Bulls confirmed that they were not required to compensate TFC for Sutton's rights.  The Canadian earned $150,000 from TFC in 2008.  One would have to assume that he would only command a fraction of that amount in New York.

The 6'6" Sutton, who was named goalkeeper of the year four times during his USL stint with Montreal, will compete with Bouna Condoul for the starting job in New York.  He has a reputation as a strong shot stopper, though his distribution skills were the subject of some criticism in Toronto.  One area where you would assume Sutton could represent an improvement over Danny Cepero, given his size, is in the air. 

Update: For those concerned about Sutton occupying a valuable international slot, he holds dual US/Canadian citizenship.

Big Apple Soccer has also now confirmed with league sources the details of the Carl Robinson trade disclosed by CBC on Wednesday.  The deal could be announced as early as today.

Update: RBNY formally announced the Robinson signing this afternoon.  Robbo will be added to the club roster after he receives his P-1 visa.  Robinson, one presumes, will take squad number 33 while Sutton has been given number 24.  According to Soccer By Ives on Twitter, the Red Bulls will only be responsible for absorbing $125,000 of Robinson's salary, with TFC covering the remainder.

Taken together, these transactions give the Red Bulls badly needed competition at two critical positions.  They may also have fans wondering if the club is trying to reconstruct TFC's expansion year team in their new home on the Passaic.  These signings bring to four the number of former TFC players now plying their trade in New Jersey - Goldthwaite, Boyens, Sutton and Robinson. 

On a side note, we can safely put to bed the rumor that Ukrainian midfielder Evgeniy Levchenko will be joining the Red Bulls anytime soon.  He confirmed on his Twitter page this morning that no deal has been reached with RBNY and he will be heading back to Russia.
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