Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday RBNY News & Notes

Bye bye Timmy?
Good morning! With MLS preseason training beginning in just three weeks and the MLS Combine complete, there should be a lot of player movement and a ton of new signings announced in the coming days. The 2012 MLS SuperDraft kicks off tomorrow, and though the New York Red Bulls only have one selection (the 31st overall pick in round two), it's not inconceivable that we could see a trade or two happen while the general managers and coaches are assembled in Kansas City. I participated in SBNation's mock draft earlier this week on behalf of Once a Metro, and you can see my "shot in the dark" selection (as well as all the other picks) here.

While General Manager Erik Solér has been down in Fort Lauderdale with Mike Petke and Jan Halvorsen assessing college players, he has also been working to conclude negotiations over the transfer of Tim Ream to Bolton Wanderers. This morning, the Bolton News is reporting that a £2.5 million fee has been agreed with MLS, and that Ream's transfer will go through, pending a physical and a work permit. There has been quite a bit of speculation on Twitter and elsewhere about Ream's eligibility for a UK work visa, but all parties apparently feel confident about the strength of an appeal.

If the Ream to Bolton deal is finalized, the windfall to RBNY will be substantial - half of the transfer fee, with about $650,000 of it available to apply to player salaries. Factor in Ream's compensation coming off RBNY's books, and Solér would have a tidy sum of $700,000+ to spend on strengthening his squad, including replacing Ream. Besides defensive help, the needs list would include a quality goalkeeper, a creative midfielder and some bench depth. From this perspective, the Ream transfer makes a lot of sense for New York, even if they have a small window in which to add new players. Carrying three DPs, the Red Bulls were right up against the salary cap last season, and could hardly afford to turn down a deal that gives them some badly needed breathing space.

A few other notes:
  • I was a guest this week on NASN's Arsenal Review USA podcast. The topic? What else??? Thierry Henry. I'd like to thank Kyle Van Buren and Joel McNamara for having me on the program. My segment is about 16 minutes in.
  • Ex-RBNY goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul has a dream - and that dream involves playing in England
That's it for now. We'll have an update for you if/when the Ream deal is finalized, and we'll try to stay on top of all the news as the SuperDraft gets underway.
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