On February 2, 2017, Glenn Crooks dropped a little New York Red Bulls transfer gossip:
The RBNY squad lost its presumptive starting right back, Chris Duvall, in the Expansion Draft - so the position has been one of concern to fans, though there had been little indication that the Red Bulls have been looking to bring in a starting-quality candidate to the roster.
Central America is a big place, however, and there are a lot of right backs who could start in MLS who fit the broad definition of "Central American". So there wasn't much to be done with Mr. Crooks' helpful hint. Until now.
On RBNY Twitter, the eagle-eyed @JuanMapu spotted something:
Now we have a name.
Michael Amir Murillo was part of the Panama U-20 squad that finished second at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, and he was in the squad that had a less successful U-20 World Cup the same year. He has senior international appearances to his name also, picking up caps at the recent Copa Centroamericana at which Panama was the host and runner-up. And he was on the rosters for Los Canaleros' opening games in CONCACAF's Hexagonal - the final stage of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
He plays his club soccer for San Francisco in Panama, but has been tipped for a move abroad.
Por Amir Murillo hay interés en España, Bélgica y Polonia, pero aún no hay oferta en firme por el defensa panameño. @deportesrpc— Arturo Bolvarán (@abolvaran) January 25, 2017
Murillo is about a week away from his 21st birthday. He fits the age and career profile of a preferred RBNY acquisition. It seems improbable that a Panama international with (we assume) ambitions of helping his national team to Russia 2018 would settle for a stint with NYRB II in USL. If Murillo is coming to the Red Bulls, it would surely be to join the MLS squad.