I must admit, I never saw this coming. It seemed perennial bad boy Clint Mathis had found a home in Colorado where Fernando Clavijo seemed more capable of controlling him than his previous coaches. Now Colorado has traded Mathis to Red Bull New York coached by none other than Bruce Arena, the same Bruce Arena who ran Mathis, arguably the 2nd most talented American player off the national team in 2003. Mathis enjoyed his best professional seasons in New York after being acquired from the LA Galaxy in 2000. Mathis also was one of the best American national team players between 2000 and 2002, scoring a notable goal versus South Korea in World Cup 2002, but Mathis’ bad behavior and poor work ethic ended his stay with the Nats in 2003.
Arena and Mathis never saw eye to eye in the past but with the Red Bulls desperate for some scoring punch, acquiring Mathis is likely a sign of the times for Arena. Unlike unproven young MLS players, Arena knows Mathis can produce if he is motivated. Leave to Arena and the Red Bull staff to push the right buttons and hope Mathis makes an impact this year.