Just as we are a few days inside the new year the Red Bulls have a lot going on to prepare for bringing in players, trades, and soon drafting college talent. Just after trading Sacha Kljestan to Orlando City for Carlos Rivas and Tommy Redding, Sporting Director Denis Hamlett had a conference call with the New York Media to update us on the current situation.
Obviously the first order of business was to discuss the Sacha Kljestan trade and why it was a difficult moment to give up a veteran player who joined back in the 2015 season for that big Supporters Shield run.
“Moving your captain was not an easy decision. There was lots of interest in Sacha. Our job is improving the team. We have two young exiting players that hopefully will make up for him.” said Hamlett, “The pressure is on to replace Sacha. We feel we have younger players that will step up, but we are looking for players that can fill that role.”
Carlos Rivas has shown in the past three seasons that he can get into dangerous positions and make those attempts to convert chances, but hasn’t show it yet as a striker up top. Hamlett believes he is best suited to go along the wing.
“When you look at his track record...There’s talent there...he’s a handful...he has pace, he’s powerful...gives us a different dimension that we don’t have.”
But once again you are giving up a player that has set up many chances to assist on goals made for Bradley Wright-Phillips, so he can take it towards the net and convert those balls into goals.
The current situation involving Argentinian club Hurican, Alejandro Moreno Gamarra and his former agent is still ongoing as the transfer has been blocked as of right now. Obviously the issue is money and so far it looks like Hamlett is going to wait patiently.
“You guys have read the reports, we are trying to navigate through that situation at the moment. That is as much information I can give you right now.”
Discussion about what will happen with Left fullback Jamaican International Kemar Lawrence either remaining on his final year of his contract or playing abroad has also come into question.
Currently there are rumors of two Turkish clubs interested in his services, but at the end of the day, Hamlett hasn’t received any offers, but it sounds like there has been some chatter about Tyler Adams. He will be heading to January camp with the US Men’s National Team.
“There’s been no contact from overseas regarding Kemar Lawrence. We’re excited to have him back. With Tyler, there are rumors about him, but we’re not going to address them.”
The Red Bulls developed a solid academy player in US U-17 Defender Chris Gloster and are looking to keep him with a homegrown player contract, but he does have desires to make a move to Europe. There is hope that he stays but from Hamlett it sounds like he is keeping an eye on the young prospect.
“There was a contract offered to him, he’s still weighing his options and we’ve been in contact with him all of last season. We’ll see where he ends up.”
Within a few short weeks as the MLS Super Draft is closing in, the Red Bulls with five picks in three of the four rounds, Hamlett is going to be eager to try and fill in some spots either for the first team or the USL side as he is ready to chat with some college players that are looking into their own futures to be apart of the professional game.
So as of right now the Red Bulls have made some moves, waiting for a situation to resolve to bring said player in and very soon Hamlett will be having discussions with the possible future of the club with these college players coming along.
Now it’s time to relax and get ready for the big super draft coming on the 19h of January.