As the Red Bulls continue to parse down their roster, Tuesday and Wednesday they targeted salary.
Espindola, according to Dave Martinez and Empire of Soccer, was set to receive a considerable raise in 2014, $450,000, up from the $150,000 he was taking home this season. According to Martinez, the Red Bulls are open to keeping the Argentine striker around, just not for that much.
Pearce, who came to the Red Bulls from Chivas USA in exchange for Juan Agudelo in 2011, sees his contract expire with the Red Bulls uninterested in keeping the defender around, Ives Galarcep reported on Goal.com today. Pearce tried to play through a hip injury that had been nagging him for years, but early this year it all came to a head, and he was shut down.
According to Goal.com, Pearce's recovery is ahead of schedule, but he still might not be ready for the season opener. Despite that, Galarcep seems to expect Pearce to wind up somewhere. What I wouldn't expect is to see his next paycheck coming in anywhere near the $331,236 he was paid in 2013.
Pearce and (possibly) Espindola are the Red Bulls' latest off-season casualties. Despite his versatility, there's not much of a reason to keep Pearce around, as he'd be another player in the way of Matt Miazga, a highly touted academy prospect. Espindola, now the fourth choice striker behind Thierry Henry, Bradley Wright-Phillips and the Peguy Luyindula/Tim Cahill combination, certainly isn't worth his supposed near-designated player salary.
These two cuts come on the heels of Monday's news that the Red Bulls would not pick up the options on Brandon Barklage and David Carney. Those moves, despite what Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh might say, were to clear space for outside backs. These are to clear salary to bring in those outside backs.