You can never have enough scoring. Obviously, that's what the Red Bulls' brass lives by. According to Big Apple Soccer and BBC Sport, the Red Bulls are closing in on inking Notts County player Luke Rodgers, a diminutive, fiery, and controversial English forward. The 28 year old has 10 goals for Notts County this season, who are playing in Football League 2, the fourth division of English football. He's played in the past for Yeovil Town, Port Vale, Crewe Alexandra, and Shrewsbury Town, all lower division sides in England.
While he has had consistent success scoring goals, Rodgers also has consistently been in trouble off the field. In 2002, Rodgers knocked out Hartlepool United defender Chris Westwood in a parking lot, and was arrested. He was also arrested in October due a disturbance in Nottingham, while he was out drinking with his Notts County teammates. And again back in 2002, he set off a firework that accidentally hit a 16 year old girl, and he was forced to do 100 hours of community service. Maybe he's the Pacman Jones of English football.
All kidding aside, Rodgers looks like he might be on his way. The question is, do the Red Bulls really need Rodgers, or another forward at all? Signing Rodgers would add him to a forward pool that already has Juan Pablo Angel, Macoumba Kandji, Salou Ibrahim, Conor Chinn, and John Wolyniec. If Rodgers is brought in, it could spell doom for fan favorite Wolyniec, who would seemingly be the odd man out. The team just signed Ibrahim, and Chinn is a rookie who has shown the ability to finish. And we can't forget about Juan Agudelo, the academy product who recently graduated to the first team. So to say there would be a logjam at forward if Rodgers is brought in would be a major understatement.
After three matches, the Red Bulls have scored just twice. While the team's finishing has not been great, more importantly, neither has the service from the midfield. Juan Pablo Angel has yet to score, and really hasn't had many great chances. If the midfield was bolstered (Dave van den Bergh anyone?), or if the current players played collectively better, Angel, Kandji and company would have a much easier time scoring. I'm not saying that the Red Bulls couldn't use a talented forward. Kandji has been inconsistent in his MLS career, Ibrahim is unproven in the league, Chinn hasn't played much for the first team, and Wolyniec has his shortcomings. If the Red Bulls were to bring in a big name forward after the World Cup, such as the oft rumored Thierry Henry, they would instantly be much better. But is Luke Rodgers the answer to the Red Bulls' scoring troubles? He isn't exactly lighting up the fourth division in England, and he stands at a tiny 5'8". It appears as though we'll see soon enough if Rodgers can contribute in MLS.
Check back soon, as well take a look back at Saturday's loss to Chivas USA with Red Bulls' player ratings.