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New York Red Bulls announce four players are out of contract at end of 2016 MLS season

The work Ali Curtis has to do this off-season becomes a little clearer.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

In advance of releasing the list of players it will be protecting from the 2016 Expansion Draft, the New York Red Bulls issued a statement clarifying the status of several players who had featured on the club's 2016 MLS roster.

The real news in the release was the identity of players out of contract: Damien Perrinelle, Aurelien Collin, Kyle Reynish, and Shaun Wright-Phillips are all heading into the off-season without active MLS contracts. Ryan Meara was also on the out-of-contract list, but has been re-signed to a multi-year deal by RBNY.

Additionally, the Red Bulls chose to confirm that Omer Damari has returned to RB Leipzig, as had already been announced. And the club noted that Anatole Abang is still on loan (to Hobro IK); Aaron Long's loan to the MLS squad has expired and he has therefore technically returned to NYRB II (he is still under contract with the Red Bulls' USL team). File the news on those three players under "already known" or "could have guessed".

Collin's contract status is also no surprise. Paired with the news of Perrinelle's expired contract and the fact that Ronald Zubar is still - at least, technically - not attached to the club: RBNY has some work to do on assembling a defense for 2017.

Of the specialist center backs on the roster in 2016, only one is currently under contract: Gideon Baah, recovering from a season-ending injury sustained in July. Karl Ouimette has been released; Aaron Long is a II-teamer for the moment; Zubar had his option declined at the end of the season and is reportedly negotiating a new deal; Collin and Perrinelle are - at the moment - out of contract. There is a substantial job to be done to get an adequate number of center-backs signed up for 2017.