As the 2017 season is nearly at an end with the Conference Finals now coming around and restarting, the New York Red Bulls are already moving forward with their plans to start fresh for 2018.
Just as every off-season begins with rumors on who comes and who goes, it’s always hard to see solid players who have been a part of the club play their best and work very hard heading out the door.
Those motions have already begun as Kristian Dyer of Metro Newspaper has reported from a source that French center back Damien Perrinelle and Ghanaian Center back Gideon Baah will not be brought back for the 2018 season.
Perrinelle who has played in 65 matches and started 56 of them was a solid defender who would always find a way to take the ball off the attackers foot and would try to start the attack at times.
Some of his memorable moments was back in the 2016 season after recovering from a leg injury and playing for the USL Red Bulls for rehab matches, he would quickly return to the pitch against the Portland Timbers as a substitute on July the 10th.
Perrinelle came in very early at the start of the first half and played the entire match, but of course he has been known to score some fantastic goals like he did in Portland back in the 2015 season.
It was inside first half stoppage time as he headed a floating ball over the keeper and it dipped just below the crossbar that gave a two goal lead for the visiting side. Or how about a big time goal on the road at RFK Stadium when they were down by two.
If not for Perrinelle with another big header shot that pulled a goal back in 2015, then Lloyd Sam’s equalizer wouldn’t have been that potent and taking home a road point against DC United is always big.
Sadly for Baah he didn’t last that long in a Red Bulls kit even though he had a great start in the 2016 season, but sadly hamstring issues and then another big leg injury forced him to the sidelines for good. Even though he tried to rehab and played a few USL games, it looks like Baah will not be returning to the Red Bulls.
So while it looks like the center backs for this side are Aaron Long, Aurelien Collin and Fidel Escobar, we will need to see if there will be anyone coming up from the USL squad if a spot will be taken.
But on a personal level I can say that I have enjoyed my time talking to Damien either at the training facility or after the match inside the Red Bulls locker room. I always enjoyed having a conversation and joking around with him.
But once again professional sports is a business and while it is hard to see the club has decided not to bring him back, I do hope he does well for another club or if he decides to go a different route. I wish both Damien and Gideon nothing but the best in their future endeavors.