With three trialists in camp, a report from Kristian Dyer at Big Apple Soccer suggests the Red Bulls have released Rafinha.
If true, the young midfielder will end his stay in New York never having made an appearance in a meaningful game. In fact, the 21-year-old has only made the bench once, in the Red Bulls' away trip to Montreal.
Rafinha -- full name Rafhael Domingues -- always was something of an unknown quantity, bouncing from team to team and country to country. Playing for Toledo CW in Brazil, his big claim to fame is starting a Facebook page to try and play for Austria, where his grandparents are from. He had a great showing in a friendly for the country's U-18 squad, scoring twice against the Czech Republic. He also spent some time in Bourissa Dortmund's youth ranks, but didn't catch on, with size and strength an apparent issue (the Red Bulls' site lists him at 5'10", 155 lbs).
There was some hope the Red Bulls had found something in Europe's scraps after he slotted home the go ahead goal in pre-season against Sweden's Malmo FF, but according to Dyer, his physical limitations hurt him here, too. Essentially, Rafinha was the polar opposite of your typical MLS player: great technically, lacking physically.
Anyway, the Red Bulls seem to be clearing space and international slots to sign one of the three trailists currently in camp. We noted Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sebastian Stachnik were in camp last week, and yesterday the two were joined by former Red Bull Salzburg defender and Ugandian international Ibrahim Sekagya. Empire of Soccer has some personal information and highlights.
It's official now. The team, and a few others, have tweeted it, and the team has a release here.
#RBNY waives forward Rafhinha http://t.co/l5bd9GqPCD— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) June 27, 2013