The Red Bulls dealt Kenny Cooper because, if they didn't, they were stuck between a rock and a hard place when it came to the salary cap.
In dealing Cooper, the Red Bulls got the ability to sign some reinforcements in the middle of the park. One of those reinforcements won't be Charleston Battery midfielder Nicki Paterson, however, as he's apparently signed an extension with the Charleston Battery.
I say "apparently" because you're met with a big splash (prominently featuring Dax McCarty), also signed to an extension) of "Battery signs extension with midfielder Nicki Paterson," but when you click it, you get nothing.
Patterson, a two time All-USL first teamer, was in camp trailing with the Red Bulls for the second time, joining the team last year the same time as Digao. Defensive depth -- or more likely, a familial connection to Kaka -- proved to be more valuable, and signing Paterson was put on the shelf. Paterson, brought back for this year's preseason camp, fed draft pick Ian Christianson his goal in the Red Bulls' 2-0 preseason win over the Columbus Crew.