Meet... Jide Ogunbiyi

Excuse me, Mr. Backe, could I interest you in half Nigerian, half American muscle? I heard it's hard to come by. But I know a guy in Denmark.

Last week Hans Backe told the Post the team needed to get more physical and adding a physical centerback would be a top priority for the club heading into the offseason.


If that's the case, the Red Bulls could do a whole lot worse than Jide Ogunbiyi, the 25-year-old 6'4" Nigerian-American defender currently with Viborg FF in the Danish second division.

Ogunbiyi was the Bulls 18th overall pick back in 2009 out of Santa Clara. The team has his rights until the end of the calendar year, and his contract is up with Viborg in six months.

Believe it or not, Danish second division highlights are hard to come by so some amateur scouting is out of the question, but if the team's Google-translated website is to be believed Ogunbiyi is "a big and very strong defensive player" and he is "half American and half Nigerian muscle that is extremely hard to come by." And the pull quote touts his areal skills: "In another corner rose Babajide Ogunbiyi, the lighthouse from Philadelphia, the air and headed in the ball into the goal for 1-1."

He isn't just a defender. The guy's a lighthouse.

Ogunbiyi open to it, it seems, writing in his journal on Goal.com that "I would be interested in playing for New York. The door has never closed in my mind for that opportunity. If they approached me, I would definitely look into it and consider it especially if it was a situation where my contract was guaranteed" although it doesn't seem as if he's been approached (some other "great" stuff in that journal entry, too, if you care to check it out). The Post, too, admits it's "unclear" how much interest the team has in him and Backe described as "unfamiliar" with the prospect.

Money could be an issue for the defender, though, with him choosing to jump across the Atlantic after the draft instead of sign in MLS.

Part of the unfamiliarity might come as Ogunbiyi was a member of the Red Bulls' last draft class before the current Soler/Backe regime took over. It remains to be seen if this is a obstacle for Ogunbiyi joining the squad. But size and physicality goes a long way in MLS and Ogunbiyi could be an easy way to add some quickly.

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