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Red Bulls announce first cuts

The rebuild is commenced...

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

In a short statement, the New York Red Bulls quietly started the process of building next year's squad by announcing those players whose contract options for 2015 have not been exercised.

Bobby Convey, Richard Eckersley, Kosuke Kimura, Marius Obekop, Damien Perrinelle, Ibrahim Sekagya and Saer Sene are the seven players effectively cut from the roster.

Not exercising a contract option doesn't necessarily mean cutting a player for good. The club let it be known it was in talks with Obekop, Perrinelle and Sekagya with regard to staying with the team for 2015.

The other four players - Convey, Eckersley, Kimura and Sene - are all experienced pros with contracts reflecting that status. Their departure is no great surprise.

Convey and Sene never settled in as regular members of the first team, although Sene might have been considered a longer-term project, since he is relatively recently recovered from a succession of serious injuries and the club does have a TH14-sized space to fill in the roster. But both are too well compensated to be bench players.

Eckersley and Kimura started the 2014 season as the presumptive challengers for the starting right back position. Neither made a convincing case, though Eckersley did finish the year in good form and showed himself to be an effective defender. Unfortunately, he is a top earner by MLS standards, and there aren't many full backs in the league worth a top-tier salary under the present cap constraints.

Absent both senior right backs, a clear priority for the off-season will be to find an alternate to Chris Duvall, who is the only specialist in that position remaining on the roster (for now...Ambroise Oyongo has recently been starting as a right back for Cameroon).

The post-Henry rebuild is officially underway.