HARRISON, NJ - JUNE 02: Juan Pablo Angel #9 of the New York Red Bulls celebrates after scoring the game winning goal in the 94th minute with teammate Tim Ream #5 against the Houston Dynamo on June 2, 2010 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Red Bulls defeat the Dynamo 2-1. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)
Happy New Year to all, I hope you've had a safe and pleasant holiday season in spite of our extreme weather. While the Red Bulls haven't had any games, there has been some business for the front office in the lead-up to next week's SuperDraft. SBNation Soccer will have a mock SuperDraft later this week, and there are more details here. I'll be picking for the Red Bulls, so if you have any suggestions of particular players to look at, please mention them in the comments section. I'll be looking for depth in central defence, at fullback and another winger (preferably one for the left side).
The Red Bulls passed back in the second round of the Re-Entry Draft, but Juan Pablo Ángel and Luke Sassano were taken by the LA Galaxy (the latter was traded to Kansas City after the Draft). Ángel is yet to sign a contract with the Galaxy, but we wish him the best wherever he ends up next season -- just not in any games he plays against RBNY.
MLS announced the opening games of the 2011 season a few weeks ago; the Red Bulls will begin at home on March 19th against the Seattle Sounders. We lost the same game last year, and our second match of the season is a clash with a side that beat us twice last year, as the Red Bulls will travel to Columbus the following week.
Juan Agudelo and Tim Ream have been called up again after making their international debuts against South Africa; the pair will head to the USA January camp in California (which begins today) before a friendly against Chile on the 22nd of January at the Home Depot Center.
Red Bull Arena will host a pair of first-round matches in the 2011 Gold Cup on June 13th, with two quarterfinals at the New Meadowlands Stadium on the 18th.
In player news, former Red Bull Hunter Freeman is coming back to MLS with Houston after we traded his rights to the Dynamo in exchange for allocation money. The enigma also known as Brian Nielsen will be back for 2011 (if we can ever really say that he arrived last season), and University of Maryland midfielder Matt Kassel, who came up through our youth system, is supposed to be offered a contract by the team soon. Luke Rodgers has been released from his contract with Notts County, which should leave him open to signing for the Red Bulls. There hasn't been any news recently on the Norwegian midfielder Jan Gunnar Solli, but it still seems very likely that he will join us for the coming season.
Finally, my friend Matt Conroy from The Viper's Nest has a set of New Year's resolutions for our club and players.
I know it probably won't be the most gripping of live coverage, but take a look at our Mock Draft on the SBNation Soccer page this Wednesday if you get the chance. 'Till next time.