If the New York Red Bulls II had a position of weakness this season, it was at center back. It was the position where the lineup seemed to lack greatest continuity; it didn't seem to take much for the coaches to reach for a full back or midfielder to step in to the center of defense; if there was a first-choice starting center back pairing, it escaped this observer.
That may be a harsh assessment: the USL squad's primary purpose is development. It is exactly the place one should expect to find RBNY testing players in new roles, or exploring different combinations of skills and experience in key positions. Continuity for NYRB II is not to be measured by results or lineups, but by the flow of players stepping up from its ranks to successful careers for RBNY, or lucrative transfers, or both.
Nonetheless, it appeared NYRB II was short of couple of specialist center backs for most of the 2015 season. There is evidence the team is taking steps to address the issue. We have already seen defenders Hassan Ndam and Luke Woodland (nominally a midfielder, but deployed at the back for his national team, the Philippines) on trial. They have since moved on. Mlssoccer.com's Eric Giacometti has, however, spotted a new potential answer to NYRB II's needs in central defense on the practice pitches in Hanover:
Former BC and #RBNY homegrown defender Sacir Hot (last with the team in 2011) is in Hanover. Training with #RBNYII.— Eric Giacometti (@Eric_Giacometti) October 23, 2015
Remember Sacir Hot? Catch up with him in this interview he afforded Aaron Bauer earlier this year.
Hot is born and raised in New Jersey and has friends on the current RBNY roster, so the appearance in training might be more social than professional. But similar circumstances (a visit for brother Bradley's wedding) led to Shaun Wright-Phillips signing with the Red Bulls after an extended stint at the training facility.
Whatever his plans are and future might hold, Hot is a 24-year-old former USA youth international and Red Bull academy product. Once A Metro wishes him all the best (especially if that best involves pulling on the red-and-white in 2016).