Reporting for Goal.com, Ives Galarcep has provided late-breaking MLS SuperDraft rumors on the eve of Draft Day, including the news that the New York Red Bulls are eyeing a move for highly-rated full back Chris Odoi-Atsem.
Projected as a top 5 talent, and clearcut best fullback in the draft, Odoi-Atsem is the target of teams hoping to address a need, or add depth, at right back.
RBNY lost starting right back Chris Duvall to the Expansion Draft - and he was a draft pick who contributed meaningful minutes to the first team in his rookie season. The current presumptive Red Bulls starters at right back are Sal Zizzo and Connor Lade, both of whom have enjoyed stints as the first-choice at the position under Jesse Marsch.
The Red Bulls had been expected to use the SuperDraft to pick up prospects likely to spend most of the season (if signed at all) with NYRB II in USL. A talent like Odoi-Atsem might also be destined for the USL team, but would signal a desire to move quickly toward the development of a starting-caliber specialist right back (both Zizzo and Lade are, essentially, utility players).
Assistant coach Denis Hamlett has said the club's plan for the Draft is to pick the best player available when RBNY's turn comes. Trading for a higher pick in the first round (the Red Bulls currently have the 17th overall selection) would, of course, mean the availability of a greater number of better players from this year's draft-eligible cohort.
The team has previously been rumored to be considering a trade for a higher pick to snag forward Abu Danladi. So if the Red Bulls do make a move up the selection order on Draft Day, the question will be whether they're hunting for an attacker or a defender.