After such a see-saw season by the New York Red Bulls, the 2012 off-season has begun with some training stints overseas with Tim Ream and Juan Agudelo visiting a few clubs in Europe. Back at Red Bull Arena, General Manager Erik Soler has seen what needs the club has to have to avoid the problems the side occurred.
The positives right now is that he is expecting both Agudelo and Ream to return to the team, picked up the option on Joel Lindpere’s contract and is looking to sign him to a long term deal. The real surprise of this club has been the play of the Estonian who has done a great job for the club.
Dane Richards will remain and Soler has told the local New York media that Frank Rost might come back on a lesser salary and is looking for another center back while hopefully using the third designated player spot for a creative midfielder during the summer window.
But when it comes to Mexican national team captain Rafa Marquez it sounds like he will be in the midfield permanently and after a lengthy two hour meeting after this past season ended, he would be staying with the club. Well it sounds like that announcement has changed.
Just recently certain sites have uncovered rumors about Brazilian side Flamingo already having negotiations with Marquez about ending his contract with the Red Bulls and MLS so he can sign on a free transfer. If this does happen then the Red Bulls will have two of their three designated player spots open.
Where was this change in attitude from Marquez? He came over when Barcelona didn’t want him anymore and played very well. He scored a big time goal at BMO Field against Toronto FC and made several fantastic assists to Thierry Henry, who converted them into the back of the net.
In a Goal.com article he has said “Red Bulls know that I cannot be on a team that does not have the same expectations from me.” Also said that the league in Brazil is growing faster in every way and for him it’s a worthwhile offer. Is the Brazilian league growing faster?
I find that a little bit troubling as we all know the five time World Cup champions have produced so much world class talent at the same level as Argentina. The only problems that I’m aware of are the financial situations when these great clubs like Santos, Palmeiras, Gremio, Sao Paulo and Corinthians can’t keep their top players.
But once again the only players that have come here from Mexico and left on good terms are Omar Bravo, Cuathemoc Blanco, Nery Castillo and that’s it. Pavel Pardo is still with the Chicago Fire and will continue next season.
I would’ve hoped that the problems that arose from Marquez when he returned from injury at the Gold Cup final would be put to rest and that he can have a better season in 2012. Sadly for him it looks like he has decided to whine his way to Brazil.