A Bloody Big Day...Just Not For the Red Bulls

Paolo Bruno

Not in the foreseen future, anyway.

Next Monday is shaping up to be a big day for Toronto FC.

A bloody big day, even, as their marketing team is calling it.

In addition to bringing in Brazilian striker Gilberto, the Reds are finally set to close the deal on English striker Jermain Defoe. If that weren't enough Toronto is closing in on a move for Roma's Michael Bradley (a former MetroStar), news of which shook the MLS Twitterverse.

Toronto, like the Seattle Sounders and Clint Dempsey before them, just shook up the MLS and are now a serious contender.

But it's not just Toronto getting better. D.C. United added Eddie Johnson, Fabian Espindola and Sean Franklin this off-season, though none of those names are up to the standard of Bradley, Defoe or Gilberto. The LA Galaxy yesterday added forward and (alleged) Real Madrid B target Samuel, shoring up the forward position. The Portland Timbers added Jorge Villafana and Steve Zakuani and will soon unveil Gaston Fernandez.

The Red Bulls brought on...Bobby Convey. Which registers somewhere between nice -- in full, underwhelmed loved one effect -- and a shrug, if it registers at all.

Bottom line: The rest of MLS has gotten better, and in some cases significantly better.

The Red Bulls? Arguably, they've gotten worse by parting ways with Markus Holgersson and Brandon Barklage.

In December, this wasn't concerning. The winter transfer window hadn't yet opened and there wasn't a ton available at the right price for the Red Bulls to choose from in the Re-Entry Draft.

But while New Year's was only last week, the recent flurry of activity has changed things. The rest of the league is out there making moves, sometimes for big names, sometimes not. There are only a couple of weeks until training camp begins. If Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh and Head Coach Mike Petke are going to make a move, they'd better do it soon.

There's still time, of course, but it seems the Red Bulls' brass seems still to be looking for breathing room under the salary cap, rather than building.

With the league shaping up the way it is for 2014, Bobby Convey isn't the missing piece that will bring the Red Bulls an MLS Cup or help them defend the Supporters' Shield.

It doesn't have to be a big name. It doesn't have to be a designated player. Whatever they do, Roxburgh and his staff have to make the team better.

It just has to be something.

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