Despite the fact he hasn't played for the New York Red Bulls at all this season, has no official squad number, and was effectively retired by sporting director Ali Curtis via podcast more than a week ago, Peguy Luyindula is still listed as "active" on the club's website and was still listed as "unavailable" on the official roster circulated as part of RBNY's most recent MLS match (against Seattle Sounders).
This might reasonably cause an eyebrow to be raised regarding the player's status. But that eyebrow can rest easy. MLS has issued an incontrovertible statement to Once A Metro:
Luyindula has retired and will be removed from the roster. There will be no budget charge for the Red Bulls moving forward.
In response to request for clarification of the latter part of that statement, a spokesperson for MLS confirmed:
There's no budget charge so it does not hit the salary cap
Direct from the league itself: Peguy is retired, and his retirement doesn't just mean there is an open roster spot for RBNY (we had thought the roster was full), but also affords some salary cap space that might previously have been thought to be spoken for.
The news also implies that the Red Bulls have an open international spot (assuming it wasn't somehow occupied prior to the official confirmation of Peguy's retirement - since it would appear he's been unofficially, officially retired for a while now).
Given the continuing certainty over exactly when Luyindula's retirement was officially agreed (it still hasn't been formally announced by the club, after all), it is fair to wonder whether his entire salary is off the cap, or just that pro-rated portion from whatever date MLS regards him as having left RBNY.
Either way, a new signing joining the roster at any point in the rest of the season would be on a pro-rated deal himself - so the impact of a few month's of Luyindula's salary on future signings is likely slight. Peguy's contract option was renewed by RBNY in January, and salary figures are not typically released by the league. The MLS Players' Union's last report on salaries (September 2014) suggests Luyindula was earning $90,000 last season.
Whatever technicalities keep Peguy's name on RBNY's roster, they can be presumed to be insignificant. As far as MLS is concerned, Luyindula is retired and no longer part of the Red Bulls' squad.
OaM hopes, of course, that the player is given appropriate thanks for his service to the club. And indeed for the manner in which he departed: in keeping with his playing contribution, even his retirement appears to have delivered unexpected and (almost) unheralded dividends. Perhaps that is why his name lingers on the club's website: RBNY is waiting for the chance to say goodbye properly.
Thanks Peguy, for once again keeping it simple and effective. And thanks to MLS for what was a swift response to OaM's inquiry - we'll check the spam folder more often. This news should have been out several days ago.
Update: The Red Bulls have removed Peguy Luyindula's name from the official roster on the club's website.