In a chat with Matt Harmon after the MLS SuperDraft, New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch acknowledged that the team was looking into making some changes to its squad. "Yeah, I think so," he said in response to the suggestion that there were "roster moves probably still to make". "
"I think a lot of teams here [the LA Convention Center, at which Marsch had just completed an afternoon of SuperDrafting] value our players, and so we're trying to figure out what that means and how to make moves that make us better," he told Harmon.
Marsch prefaced that statement with comments to the effect that the entire current squad was valued and the team's biggest concern was balancing its confidence in its existing core of senior players with the need to allow an ever-growing sub-roster of prospects the time and opportunity needed to develop. "It'll be a balancing act in many ways, to make sure that we round out the roster in the right way," he said.
At least one senior RBNY player would at least not be surprised to see a few changes to the squad. As reported by Big Apple Soccer back on January 11, Sacha Kljestan has an inkling there may be some adjustments to the roster ahead:
We know that probably will bring about changes in the team for next season because it has been two years without the MLS Cup and without moving on in the playoffs. We know that there will be some changes which probably will have to happen, but we still have a very good group of core guys.
Of course, it is one thing to want to make a deal or two and quite another to get deals done. The Red Bulls' SuperDraft experience neatly illustrated that point. Before the Draft, it was persistently rumored RBNY was hoping to make a deal for a higher pick. And during the Draft, there were reports of RBNY activity.
Red Bulls involved in a lot of discussions from what I can see. Talking to Chicago now. #SuperDraft #RBNY— Farhan Devji (@farhandevji) January 13, 2017
Jesse Marsch and Nelson Rodriguez talking passionately #superdraft— Champagne Soccer (@SoccerChampagne) January 13, 2017
D.C. United takes a time out. Dave Kasper and Ben Olsen chatting with RBNY's Denis Hamlett and Jesse Marsch right now.— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) January 13, 2017
#DCU turned down Red Bulls' offer of 1st-rounder (17) & allocation $ for D.C. United's first pick (12), presumably to take Odoi-Atsem— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) January 13, 2017
D.C. United turned down trade offer from Red Bulls to keep No. 12 pick and select Chris Odoi-Atsem from Maryland. #MLSSuperDraft #terps— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) January 13, 2017
In the end RBNY made no Draft Day trades and the team simply selected from the players available when its turns came. Conclusion: you can't always get what you want.
In his chat with Harmon, March appeared to suggest that RBNY would simultaneously look within the club for young players who could step up and seek to trade for the roster pieces it most definitely needs (reminder: as of January 14, the Red Bulls have only two specialist center backs on MLS contracts). He may simply have been describing a reality: as happened on Draft Day, if the deals can't be done, the team has to be satisfied with what it's got. Hence "we like our team", swiftly followed by "we're trying to figure out...how to make moves that make us better".