Del Piero is leaving Juventus at the end of the current campaign. It seems the entire football community agrees on this. Barring some significant event occurring between now and mid-May, Del Piero also intends on continuing his career somewhere else. The Juve legend has, since the end of last season, been linked with a possible move to Major League Soccer. One team always comes up whenever such a rumor is mentioned.
That team is, of course, the Red Bulls.
According to a story posted on the Football Italia website, it seems that Montreal Impact are out of the running. Two former Serie A players, Bernardo Corradi and Matteo Ferrari, are currently on the Montreal squad, so Del Piero joining the Impact seemed to make sense; at least it did on paper. The Football Italia story states that the Impact have claimed that Del Piero only wants to play for one of two MLS sides; LA Galaxy or New York.
LA are currently the biggest story in MLS, and not for the right reasons. The defending champs have thus far looked more like a relegation side in all but one of their matches this season. LA's back line, not their attack, has been the team's biggest problem thus far. Adding Del Piero doesn't help with that.
Does it make any sense for the Red Bulls to consider bringing the veteran to the club for the second portion of the 2012 season? Del Piero is not as dismissible an option as some may want you to believe. Yes, Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry are destroying opponent after opponent right now. It's still mid-April, and neither man has yet been slowed by either injuries or fatigue. Don't forget the 2011 MLS season. The Red Bulls were kings of the league heading into the first weekend of May. Then summer came, and Luke Rodgers was sidelined due to plantar fasciitis, Henry dealt with ankle issues (insert own comments regarding the matter here), and New York couldn't buy a win even after acquiring a veteran goalkeeper who hurt himself while sitting on an airplane.
Del Piero, such as other international players, would likely struggle adjusting to MLS play. After all, it's not the skip in the park many international fans (and players too, don't kid yourselves) believe it to be. Del Piero doesn't have to feature in New York's starting lineup every weekend to make a difference, however. Look at Juve's past five games. Del Piero has come on and played second half hero in three of those games, including this past Wednesday when Juventus defeated Lazio 2-1. Del Piero may be in the twilight of his career, but that doesn't mean he can't lend a hand to New York this summer. We know this: He's a lot more rested than some of the other possible targets linked with a summer move to RBNY.
I do not think that the Red Bulls should, if they could, sign Del Piero this April. A lot can happen in two months, though, and I have little confidence in New York remaining the hottest team in MLS through the end of spring. I've been hurt before, and I know that, as a supporter of both RBNY and the Mets, I'll be hurt again. Nobody knows anything for sure regarding the matter, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for Luke Rodgers to get his visa issues sorted out by the end of summer. Let's see how things are going for the Red Bulls once the second weekend in May comes before we immediate dismiss any move.
I sure would have liked to see Del Piero wearing RBNY red and white last July.
- Sports & Recreation
- Alessandro Del Piero
- New York Red Bulls