The New York Red Bulls have bagged Omer Damari on loan from RB Leipzig until the end of the MLS season. Best we can tell, the move is a band-aid solution to a number of problems: Leipzig wants to move Damari on, but he won't attract much interest if he isn't playing; Damari wants to move on, but needs a place to showcase his talent that is a little higher-profile than Leipzig's reserve team; RBNY wants some scoring help.
Damari is the first player to cycle through RB's Leipzig, Salzburg, and New York. This isn't quite the badge of honor it might seem: he's move around the family because he hasn't really lived up to the expectations that caused Papa to throw down more than $5 million for a transfer fee and something like $1.7 million per year in salary for the Israeli forward's services.
Nonetheless, he's at RBNY with plenty of incentive to make the best of things. And his prior comments to the mediaover the course of several years suggest he is a level-headed pro, well aware of the risks and uncertainties of the profession he is in, and the need to stay focused and committed through good times and bad.
He probably doesn't need any further motivation than the frustrations of the last 18 months of his career, but if he does: he can consider the inauspicious history of his squad number.
Damari has been handed the #26 shirt for his stint at RBNY.
Per MetroFanatic.com, he will be the sixth player in the history of his twice-named new club to wear that number. And if he does anything almost anything of consequence, he'll be the best #26 the team has ever known.
Here is a brief look at those who wore #26 for the club in the past:
Gerson Echeverry: Played one game for MetroStars in 1997, registering an assist in a 2-1 league win over Columbus Crew. Lasted two months with the team before being released in June, 1997. Played lower league and indoor soccer for a while. Currently head coach of Seton Hall's men's soccer team.
Carlos Ledesma: Played 18 minutes for MetroStars in 1998, coming off the bench in a 2-1 league loss to Tampa Bay. Released the same year.
Fausto Klinger: Played 14 minutes in 2001, coming off the bench in a 3-1 league loss to Chicago. Made his MetroStars debut in the same game as brother Martin made his first MLS start for the club. Released the same year. The story of MetroStars' Klinger brothers is well told by MetroFanatic.com.
Taylor Graham: Unusually for a #26 for this club, Graham stuck around for more than a season. Something of a talisman for every team he played for, except the New York Red Bulls. With Graham in the squad, Sporting KC won US Open Cup, and Seattle won a couple of USL titles followed by three USOC trophies after joining MLS. In the midst of these relatively successful stints, Graham logged 19 appearances for RBNY in 2006 and 2007. Released in 2007. Currently VP of Business Operations at Seattle Sounders.
Chris Megaloudis: Played 35 minutes for RBNY in a regular-season 1-1 tie with New England Revolution in MLS in 2008. Made his first and only start in RBNY's embarrassing 2-0 USOC loss to Baltimore Bohemians. Released in 2008. Currently a player agent.
Even if you aggregate their stats, the history of the team's #26s doesn't add up to much.
|Name||Games Played||Games Started||Minutes||Goals||Assists|
Damari doesn't have to do much to be the best #26 in club history.