Even with head coach Mike Petke's youth movement along the back, some of the New York Red Bulls' young guys could use some playing time.
And that's what the team's brain trust is doing, reportedly sending Ian Christianson to Orlando City and are nearing a deal to send Connor Lade temporarily to the Cosmos.
Christianson's move was called a "temporary stint to get game fit" by Kristian Dyer at Big Apple Soccer. The loan would give the defensive midfielder a chance to get match fit ahead of the Red Bulls' CONCACAF Champions League campaign set to begin in roughly a month's time.
Lade's move comes with less detail. The report again comes from Dyer, who cites a league source. It's obvious Lade isn't Petke's favorite player; though he has made the bench a few times this season, he just hasn't found a place on the field, playing just 10 minutes in five appearances this season.
It could be a good move for the Cosmos who need a shot in the arm, which is something Lade did with regularity in 2012. Since finishing just a point behind spring season winners Minnesota United earlier in the year, the Cosmos have faltered out of the gate in the fall season, starting 1-1-1, their only win a smash-and-grab job against the Ottawa Fury, followed by a draw against the 10-man Ft. Lauderdale Strikers.
Whether the move is to get Lade ready for the Champions League or an attempt to shop an out-of-favor player is anyone's guess. Though, Lade would fit the mold of a Cosmos pick-up: Once promising with a chip on their shoulder trying to re-boot their career.
It's also worth noting that the Red Bulls don't often use the loan system. Corey Hertzog -- now with Orlando City --was the last player I can remember that was sent on loan. He seldom played with the Red Bulls, but made a splash with the Wilmington Hammerheads, scoring four goals and assisting on two others before having his loan extended. Hertzog never made it back to the Red Bulls -- or MLS for that matter -- being picked up by the Vancouver Whitecaps before being sent on loan again to FC Edmonton of the NASL.