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Reports: Peru youth international Christian Sanchez set to join New York Red Bulls

Or NYRB II, perhaps.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

From the eagle-eyes of @MundoMLS, via friend of Once A Metro @JuanMapu, to you, dear reader: a transfer rumor that offers itself as the answer to the question regarding the New York Red Bulls' ongoing search for another defender.

Well, rumor does the story a disservice: Peruvian youth international Christian Sanchez has told Toque y Gol he is on his way to RBNY:

I'll be playing at the New York Red Bulls. I had already come to a test two years ago and they called me a few weeks ago.

That is no rumor, that is a direct quote.

Of course, even direct quotes can be lacking context or mangled by Google Translate. And no deal is done until an official announcement is made. But put Sanchez at the top of the list of potential new RBNY recruits.

As he mentions, he was on trial with RBNY in 2015. That was also the year he went to the South American U-17 Championship with Peru, as a 15-year-old (one of five in that Peru squad). In 2014, he had been part of the Peru squad that won the Boys' Soccer gold medal at the summer Youth Olympics in Nanjing. He recently turned 18 (April 5, assuming Wikipedia has correctly identified the birthdays of the Peru 2015 U-17 squad) and, per, has family in the USA.

He is a reserve teamer for Peruvian powerhouse Sporting Cristal, but has trained with Peru Men's National Team.Toque y Gol reports Peru head coach Ricardo Gareca was "dazzled" by Sanchez.

He is described as a defensive-minded player, either a midfielder or center-back. At 18, he clearly has some time to establish his best position.

New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch has admitted the club is exploring what the market might have to offer by way of defensive help to the squad, though he has had little to say about the search more recently. And the team does have an open spot on its roster for an international player.

But the general assumption was RBNY is hunting for an adequate replacement for Gideon Baah - an experienced pro with the demonstrated ability to compete for a start in MLS. Sanchez doesn't really fit that profile: he's a prospect, not a proven starter. This is the moment when OaM notes that the distinction between the New York Red Bulls and reserve team New York Red Bulls II is largely irrelevant to the foreign press, and even players. It is not uncommon to hear a player describe a move to RBNY, only for that player to land with NYRB II.

We should find out Sanchez's fate soon enough: the Toque y Gol report was filed on April 9. If he's joining RBNY or NYRB II (or both - the Red Bulls already have an 18-year-old youth international signed to the first team and playing for the reserves: Hassan Ndam seems to be settling in well to life as a pro with the club), the transfer window for players to join the US leagues closes on May 8.