Even after the New York Red Bulls acquired a backup goalkeeper, it appeared that this Friday the 13th would be a rather quiet one for RBNY supporters. The team then announced a bold move that excited some, made some a bit sad, and also left many Philadelphia Union supporters shaking their heads.
New York Red Bulls transfer news: Le Toux for Richards
In a move that I don't think anybody saw coming, the Red Bulls sent speedster Dane Richards and allocation money to the Vancouver Whitecaps for Sebastien Le Toux. Le Toux, a dynamic scorer and beloved player while at Philadelphia, was shipped to Vancouver during this past offseason. He has not enjoyed the same success out west, however, scoring just four goals (he also had a single assist) while with the Whitecaps. Richards, known for being one of the fastest players in all of Major League Soccer, has also struggled during the 2012 campaign. He had just one goal and two assists in 17 league contests this season, and his inconsistent play in the final third has cost the Red Bulls multiple times throughout the campaign.
Some immediate thoughts came to mind upon reading about the trade. For starters, one has to assume that this signals an official end to the Luke Rodgers saga. Both team general manager and sporting director Erik Soler and head coach Hans Backe have repeatedly told reporters that they were still "waiting" on good news regarding Rodgers attempting to get a work visa, good news that, as of the typing of this sentence, still hasn't come. It appears that, with the New York attack floundering as of late, partially due to captain Thierry Henry missing action because of multiple injury woes, the Red Bulls decided they could no longer wait to act.
One also has to assume that we will be seeing a different formation from Backe's side this weekend when they host Seattle Sounders (Sunday at 4 pm ET, ESPN). With Henry expected to make a return to the lineup, we could, for the first time, see the trio of Henry, Le Toux and front man Kenny Cooper out on the pitch all at once. Le Toux would, in such a formation, be the "goal creator," with Henry and Cooper playing up top. Don't let his stats from just this season fool you. Le Toux is a solid finisher, one who has previously excelled when playing most of his games on the east coast.
New York Red Bulls transfer news: Help at 'keeper
Earlier in the afternoon, New York sent a second round MLS Supplemental Draft pick to LA Galaxy for goalkeeper Bill Gaudette. It seems logical that the 30-year old Gaudette would leapfrog Jeremy Vuolo as the team's backup goalkeeper, and the new addition may also not have to wait long for his first RBNY start. Rookie phenom Ryan Meara was involved in two scary incidents during last weekend's game at New England, the second of which earned Revolution rookie Kelyn Rowe a one match ban. It wouldn't be shocking to see Meara sit out at least one game in the near future. The Red Bulls have three home games between July 8 and July 18, and Meara, banged up or not, could use a little rest during the hottest time of the summer and of the MLS regular season.