Last week, Head Coach Mike Petke spoke in coded terms about the Red Bulls' cap situation, in regards to the three trialists they brought in for a look.
They made a decision, he said, but it was more complicated than just liking a guy. He has to fit in. And, more importantly, he has to fit under the cap.
Well, since Jonny Steele has moved down under, joining the A-League's Newcastle Jets, the Red Bulls have some breathing room under the salary cap.
And it seems Martin Woods will fill that gap...
The only one of the Red Bulls' three trialists I see still here is Scottish winger Martin Woods. #rbny— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) July 15, 2014
Woods joined the Red Bulls two weeks ago, along with midfielder Diego Sousa Xavier and defender Damien Perrinelle. While all three satisfied a need -- Xavier would provide the attacking flair the Red Bulls lack in midfield and Perrinelle could plug the porous defense -- Woods would fill the most glaring hole in the 2014 New York Red Bulls: Left wing.
Eric Alexander hasn't been up to par, neither has Steele nor Bobby Convey. Woods, who spent the majority of his career in England's lower leagues, could provide stability and dynamism where Alexander, Steele and Convey have failed.
And the move could work out. The last two players the Red Bulls have brought over from England's Football League were Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips. One is one of the league's better wingers, the other is leading the Golden Boot chase.
Of course, like Xavier was made redundant by Thierry Henry's ability to drop deep and Perrinelle was (apparently) skipped over thanks to Matt Miazga, it's possible the answer to the Red Bulls' prayers on the left is on the roster already.
Petke has speculated that Ambroise Oyongo could fill in at left midfield when Roy Miller returns to the line-up. Oyongo has impressed since making his first appearance against the New York Cosmos in the Open Cup.
But how well or quickly he could adjust to the left midfield position is an open question, and one I'm sure most Red Bulls fans wouldn't like to roll the dice on, what with their precarious position holding onto the last playoff spot in the East.