The summer trialist season will shortly kick off in earnest for the New York Red Bulls. Since off-loading veteran winger Lloyd Sam, RBNY promised - in essence - to explore every option it had in its quest to make its attacking play more potent. To date, that exploration has been limited to a dance between Gonzalo Veron and Alex Muyl for the regular starting spot that used to be regarded as property of Lloyd Sam. And there has been some persistent whispering about transfer market activity, without any really specific news or even a solid rumor.
Empire of Soccer's Dave Martinez reports that is about to change. Jesse Marsch told reporters at the Red Bulls training facility that the club will have some bona fide trialists in camp shortly. He stopped short of identifying them by name, but did identify their nationality and playing position:
We have a Nigerian centerback coming in, potentially a Portuguese midfielder on trial and a Spanish midfielder on trial.
That is in the future tense. Jesse says these players are coming, but not yet with the team.
It should be noted that summer trialists are something of a tradition for the club. Last year, for example, the club welcomed - among others - a teenager (Hassan Ndam), an emerging utility player (Luke Woodland), and a forward (Junior Flemmings). Flemmings eventually signed for NYRB II during the off-season. This year, we've recently seen Christian Francois try out with the team.
In Jesse's parlance, that is a Cameroonian defender, a Filipino midfielder, a Jamaican attacker, and a Haitian forward.
Implicit in Marsch's revelation is that these players might potentially help the team right now, because he has previously said the club is looking at options for an immediate boost to the first team squad. But we'll have a better idea about their prospective roles when the players turn up.
Last year, the club's summer signings were Shaun Wright-Phillips (who turned a trip to the USA for his brother's wedding into a trial and eventually a contract; aka, an English midfielder) and Gonzalo Veron (who was whisked out of Argentina in a transaction that appeared to move very quickly; aka, an Argentine forward). Alongside those acquisitions, there was a steady stream of trialists, none of whom appeared to be destined for immediate first-team minutes.
RBNY has immediate and long-term objectives, and both must fueled by constant adjustment to the playing staff. We'll have a sense of where the latest batch of trialists might fit when their identities are known.