Word out of New York Red Bulls' training from Big Apple Soccer's Kristian Dyer is that Chilean trialist Santiago Dittborn survived the weekend and is still kicking around RBNY's practice sessions. But Dyer's report also suggests the team might not be minded to sign the player:
This was due diligence. Don't think there's much more there.
That's a "team source" as quoted by Dyer, and it certainly doesn't sound like the team is excited by the 22-year-old midfield prospect. This may be due to a misreading of the player's attributes: the BAS report notes RBNY believed it was looking at a left winger, but now considers Dittborn to be more suited to playing as a defensive midfielder.
The club has a traffic jam in central midfield, especially the two deep-lying positions in the currently-favored 4-2-3-1 formation. Captain Dax McCarty occupies one slot; alleged creative attacking midfielder Felipe has been the other d-mid for most of the season. And the team has a natural box-to-box player - Sacha Kljestan - in an attacking midfield role at the moment. In reserve, Sean Davis seems to be first-off-the-bench if there is a need in central midfield, and the roster also includes highly-rated draft pick, Leo Stolz. Additionally, Connor Lade has the qualities necessary to play a defensive role in central midfield, though he is the team's first-choice right back for the foreseeable future.
Fair to say the squad doesn't urgently need another CM. It is interesting to learn that RBNY thought Dittborn was a winger. The roster is also pretty stacked with wide-men: Lloyd Sam, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Sal Zizzo, Manolo Sanchez, Marius Obekop, Mike Grella; even striker Bradley Wright-Phillips has spent time out wide this season. Each of those players brings his own particular qualities to the wide positions, but only Obekop is a natural left-footer. Might the Red Bulls have been thinking about adding an attacking left-footed player to the squad as the 2015 MLS builds toward its finale?
Perhaps. The club is expected to confirm the signing of versatile attacker (but also, reportedly, primarily right-footed) Gonzalo Veron in the near future (or else we'll be watching the player and his club, San Lorenzo, awkwardly walk back statements that made clear the deal was all but done). RBNY arguably needs another wide man less than it needs another central midfielder - unless that wide man comes with something the squad doesn't have right now, like a strong left foot and the ability to start in MLS immediately.
Whatever the Red Bulls are looking for, it would appear Santiago Dittborn might not fit the bill.