The Red Bulls opened training camp Friday. With all the players, staff and media together for the first time in 2014, you'd expect there to be plenty of news. And there was.
Here's the rundown...
The Red Bulls Rumor of the Winter -- that Barcelona midfielder Xavi would be signing -- Theirry Henry said he hasn't reached out to his former Barcelona teammate, which was the impetus for the entire rumor
Thierry Henry on reports he'd been recruiting former #barca teammate xavi: "i dont know where that came from" #rbny— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) January 24, 2014
When asked, Andy Roxburgh was extra dismissive of the rumor, even moreso than he was at the draft. From Big Apple Soccer...
"No, no, no, no. We haven't done that. No, no we haven't been in any discussions with anybody about that," Roxburgh said at Red Bull Arena as the Red Bulls reported for pre-season training.
But a designated player could be coming sooner rather than later.
Roxburgh says team likely to add impact player after World Cup #RBNY— Big Apple Soccer (@BigAppleSoccer) January 24, 2014
More from Henry: He's a bit coy about 2014 being his final year.
Back to Henry. Asked about this being his final season with #RBNY. Coy on his future. 'I am just thinking about this year' #MLS— Dave Martinez (@EmpireOfSoccer) January 24, 2014
Henry's contract is up at the end of the year, but he told the press he's focused on this year. From Big Apple Soccer...
"I'm not going into it like that. I'm thinking about this year, we need to win - like every single year I've been here," Henry said at Red Bull Arena Friday. "Obviously it didn't happen before. Same thing - no more, no less. All I know it is going to be my - if I count well - the 20th one, preseason. I know already the drill. I don't usually get injured. One of the most important things for me is to go through without any injury during preseason . Not only for me but also for the team. You want everyone to be fit, to make sure we work or compete for the season."
"But once again, I'm not thinking about it might or might not be my last year or whatever it is. It is a year that is coming. We want to perform as a team and try to make sure we can go further this year.
"I'm not thinking about next year. I'm thinking about this year. That's what is on my mind right now. That's all."
As for the need for an attacking midfielder, something Mike Petke said he wanted at the start of the year and has since walked back. In the months since the Red Bulls were knocked out of the playoffs by the Houston Dynamo something changed. Petke told Empire of Soccer...
"The fact of the matter is, yes, at the end of last season throughout this season, my wishlist included an attacking minded midfielder who can thread things," Petke noted. "I think the way things stand at this moment, yes, I do not want to rip my team apart for the sake of saying we need one specific position. I think that is a credit to the players. They haven't given me a reason to do that. I am not going to rip my team apart unless they give me reason to."
Tim Cahill doesn't see the need, either.
Cahill plays down the need for an attacking mid "We were the highest scoring team in the league" #RBNY #MLS— Dave Martinez (@EmpireOfSoccer) January 24, 2014
Which brings us to the Ronald Vargas rumor. We wondered this week whether or not Vargas could be that player. The answer was maybe, for the right price, but Andy Roxburgh shot that rumor down Friday.
Roxburgh says there is no truth to Vargas rumors #RBNY #MLS— Dave Martinez (@EmpireOfSoccer) January 24, 2014
Some more color from Empire of Soccer...
"That was just a name. I get half a dozen names a day, agents with piles of names. That is the only place I heard that name. Just one of these names. Just a pile of names that come from agents.
"I just write back and say ‘no space, no money.'"
Some Bobby Convey news: He's, apparently, taken less money to join the Red Bulls.
Bobby Convey says he took less money than Toronto's offer to come to New York, play on a winner and be close to home. #rbny #mls— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) January 24, 2014
As far as filling out the rest of the roster, Roxburgh said another fullback was coming, probably sooner rather than later.
Andy Roxburgh says Red Bulls hope to add a fullback from #MLS within a week, possibly by today #rbny— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) January 24, 2014