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Report: Rafael Diaz back with New York Red Bulls

The 'keeper's agent says he's back with RBNY.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Though the New York Red Bulls have been slow to make any announcements on the subject of new signings, there are other channels for news. Remington Ellis, the agency that represents a cluster of current and former Red Bulls - including Connor Lade, Lloyd Sam, and Jamison Olave - provided an update on its clients back on January 3, which kicked off with a relevant item for RBNY fans:

In the MLS, Raf Diaz has signed with New York Red Bulls

Once A Metro has no reason to doubt the word of Remington Ellis. The implication of the statement is Diaz - a goalkeeper signed to the New York Red Bulls II team in 2016 - has been promoted from a USL contract to a spot on the MLS squad.

And the implication of that would be that RBNY does in fact have the three MLS-contracted goalkeepers traditionally considered the necessary quota for a season-ready roster.

Luis Robles (32 years old) is expected to be the first-choice starter, backed up by Ryan Meara (26) and, it would seem, Rafa Diaz (25).

In two seasons with NYRB II, Diaz has been consigned to the role of back-up: first to Santiago Castano in 2015, then to Meara in 2016. In scant appearances (he got five last season), he has looked well suited to the task of goalkeeping in the Red Bulls' system. A promotion to MLS doesn't necessarily mean more time on the field - if Robles continues to play around 40 games a season (as he has done each of the last three years) it doesn't leave much first team time for his back-ups - but it is a compliment to the ability he has shown in very limited opportunity to date with RBNY.

The Red Bulls still look one 'keeper short for the season ahead: if Diaz is part of the MLS roster, then a 'keeper to fill his role in the USL squad is required. But the news from Remington Ellis is an encouraging indication that RBNY's off-season, though quiet, has not been without activity.