It is no secret that Aurelien Collin is out of contract. At the New York Red Bulls' end-of-season media day, he told reporters "of course" he wanted to return to the club, and spoke about his personal ambition to win CONCACAF Champions League.
As it happens, RBNY's very first games of 2017 will be CCL quarterfinal matches against Vancouver Whitecaps. Collin and the Red Bulls would appear to be as well matched next year as they were in 2016, when his arrival provided a near-immediate answer to a defensive crisis that threatened to derail the club's season.
But first there is a contract negotiation to get through, and it's outcome is not at all certain. Collin admitted as much to Surface magazine in an interview that was largely focused on the player's reaction to Donald Trump's ascension to the US Presidency.
Collin provided Surface with an outsiderly insider's view of the 2016 Presidential Election, submitting an analysis of the race and its outcome that was both diplomatic and plainspoken. "Everyone is afraid," he said in response to being asked whether America was great again. Had he been able to vote, however, he noted he "would have to study the question, because really the feeling was that there was no good option."
In that opinion he would appear to be reflecting the opinions of his colleagues. Collin described an ambivalent dressing room: "my teammates were neither one nor the other".
Asked to consider how President Trump might impact Aurelien Collin, the veteran center back first advised that he is not at all certain he will be living in America when the country's newest leader takes office:
I'm out of contract so if it is I will return to Europe soon. I do not know my future here (Redbulls New York).
Collin makes clear he doesn't expect President Trump to have a significant impact on the life of a professional soccer player ("Personally, I'm fine"), though the uncertainty and anxiety in the country at large is present in his own family ("in the entourage of my wife, who comes from Venezuela...I feel the fear").
But he has a more pressing uncertainty to consider before he gives too much thought to the politics of his adopted country: Collin told Surface he expected it will take at least six months for any of the Trump administration's policies to take effect, and by that time "I may be gone".
Translation: the pending negotiations with RBNY are no formality.