|Leave the Fireworks to the Professionals, M'kay?|
There's just a bit of news to report today as the Red Bulls enjoy a day of recuperation following their mammoth four-game road trip. Leander Schaerlaekens of ESPN spoke with RBNY Sporting Director Erik Solér about possible moves now that the summer transfer window has opened. Solér identified the goalkeeping position as the club's primary area of need (no shit), and hinted that there may also be a defender added before the end of the month, though the latter might be contingent on clearing some cap space via a trade or obtaining allocation money. This is more than a little puzzling, considering the number of "dead weight" players the Red Bulls currently have in the squad that could conceivably be jettisoned, most notably the near-retirement Carl Robinson and the permanently injured Brian Nielsen. Then again, the new contract with the players has somewhat limited clubs' ability to shed unwanted talent.
Solér was at pains to point out that the only goalkeeping targets the club will pursue are those players who are 1) out of contract, 2) available on free transfers and 3) have reasonable salary demands. Off the top of our heads, this could include some familiar names to fans of European soccer, including Carlo Cudicini, Jerzy Dudek and Manuel Almunia. Whether any of these players have an interest in switching to MLS is another matter. [Ed. note - In May, Cudicini signed an extension to his contract at Tottenham Hotspur, so he may not be an option.] Solér did close the door on a move for Marcus Hahnemann, who he believes is headed home to Seattle to replace Kasey Keller.
Finally, Kristian Dyer of mlssoccer.com spoke with Jan Halvor Halvorsen following Saturday's 2-2 draw in Palo Alto. Asked about the club's staggering total of ten draws in eighteen matches, Halvorsen declared himself satisfied:
“We have to be realistic. We played four games on the road. As long as we get points.”No, no, no, no, no!! Even with key players missing during the Gold Cup, the club's first goal should be to win. By lowering their expectations, Backe and Halvorsen are providing the players with a license to give less than their all. Luckily, Joel Lindpere hasn't been listening.