At the beginning of March, the New York Red Bulls announced defender Gideon Baah would be out for the entire 2017 season - out of the MLS squad, at least (he could still play for NYRB II in USL or be loaned out to just about anywhere, but he can't play in MLS this year). This was a surprise to RBNY fans, but less so to the club. On the same day supporters were getting used to the idea that Baah wouldn't be back this year, head coach Jesse Marsch was telling MSG's Kristian Dyer that work was underway to identify and recruit a replacement:
That’s probably the one more piece that we need to supplement that position. So we’ll see. Right now, [sporting director Denis Hamlett] and our scouts are evaluating what might be next in that spot. Yeah, a lot of work is being put into that.
Good to know. At the beginning of April, Dyer - reporting for Metro (no relation) on this occasion - caught up with Marsch for an update on the search for another center back:
Little bit, here and there. I know everybody is looking at a lot of video and looking at the possibilities. We’ll see.
Make of those comments what you will: they either sound a lot like what Marsch said a month ago or like progress - whatever suits.
Dyer did include another tidbit in his latest report on the subject of RBNY's CB search: Sporting Director is said to have been scouting in Central America during the last round of World Cup qualifiers.
The Red Bulls should have a reasonable amount of flexibility to assist in their ongoing hunt for another defender. There is an international spot free on the roster, so they can add a player from anywhere in the world they choose. And they should be able to keep the replacement's wages from impacting their MLS salary budget if they sign him before May 8 (and pay him $250,000 or less).
As Jesse Marsch likes to say about this matter: we'll see.