Friday, July 30, 2010

Recruiting Thierry: How It Happened; RBNY Notes

While you wait for Thierry Henry to make his MLS league debut against Houston Dynamo tomorrow night, take a moment to read the excellent article on about how the Red Bulls went about recruiting TH14.  It's a fascinating look inside the transfer negotiations and confirms once again (if any of you needed further convincing) that Red Bull GmbH is fully committed to turning RBNY into the league's gold standard.

We've seen designated player rumors flying over the past two to three weeks, as forward thinking owners such as our dear Uncle Dietrich seek to take this league to the next level.  Just today, as a matter of fact, Seattle moved Freddie Ljungberg to Chicago for draft picks in order to make way for the addition of new DP and Uruguayan star Alvaro Fernandez.  Ljungberg joins fellow designated player Nery Castillo in Chicago, creating a formidable midfield that the Red Bulls will face in early August.  Next week, according to ESPN Deportes' David Faitelson, will see the unveiling of Rafael Marquez as the Red Bulls third designated player.  The DP rumors don't end there, however, as some claim that yet another Mexican star will soon be joining MLS - Omar Bravo perhaps?

All of these moves (and there may be more still to be announced) are altering the landscape of the league.  The Galaxy cruised through the early part of the season and looked like clear MLS Cup favorites, alongside Real Salt Lake and Columbus Crew.  Now, with this sudden influx of talent, things could look very different come playoff time.  In fact we may very well see the Galaxy make a move or two themselves.  Whatever happens, it's a very exciting time to be a fan of MLS as teams jockey for position and re-shape their rosters.

Now a few Red Bulls notes as we lead up to the Dynamo match. According to Kristian Dyer at, Coach Backe plans to start Henry in Houston.  How long he lasts depends on his fitness and - one would assume - the heat in H-town.  Whether we see Angel pairing with Henry to start the game is an open question.  Henry logged 45 minutes in this week's All-Star Game and remained in Houston thereafter.  One player we will not be seeing anytime soon for the Red Bulls is Brian Nielsen, who, according to multiple accounts, has a serious knee issue that may see him sit out the remainder of the season.  Like Salou Ibrahim, who also joined the Red Bulls from Vejle in Denmark, Nielsen has struggled to make an impression in New York and has been constantly hampered by injuries.  You have to start to wonder how long the club will persist with these two. Also today, the New York Post's Brian Lewis reports that Bouna Condoul will miss only one game as a result of his Senegalese National Team commitments, the August 11 game against Toronto FC at Red Bull Arena.  Interestingly, that should also be the home league debut for both of the Red Bulls newest designated players. 

Finally, the Red Bulls made official today what we've known for a week or more - namely that striker John Wolyniec has been waived after turning down a coaching/development role with the club.  Always a tenacious, committed player, Woly became a fan favorite in the Big Apple.  The Staten Island native, who scored some massive, memorable goals during his time with the MetroStars and Red Bulls, will be missed for his hard work and never-say-die attitude.  We at The Viper's Nest would like to wish Woly all the best as he moves to the next phase of his career.  Here's hoping we see him return to Red Bull Arena sooner rather than later.
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