While it wasn’t quite the Kaku saga, Red Bull has weathered some minor haggling to lock down the signing of French left back Jason Pendant from Sochaux of Ligue 2.
Denis Hamlett introduced Pendant with a press release Tuesday morning stating that Pendant will join RBNY immediately upon completion of his visa paperwork, rather than joining at the end of the French season in June. Per team and league custom, the length and terms of the new contract were not disclosed.
NEWS: New York Red Bulls sign French defender Jason Pendant— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) March 10, 2020
➡️ https://t.co/GcDEuiMt4u#RedRunsDeep | #RBNY pic.twitter.com/zXLm5Tdefs
After first hitting the web last week, the rumors of RBNY’s imminent signing of the 23-year old fullback were bolstered by reports that Pendant himself was in New York negotiating terms. After a week of due diligence between the clubs, the signing was completed and confirmed.
Le défenseur du @FCSM_officiel Jason Pendant serait actuellement aux USA...Il n'était pas présent à l'entraînement ce mardi.— Soyons Sport (@SoyonsSport) March 3, 2020
(Le numéro 26 sur la photo) pic.twitter.com/HDHzG0cI1q
Pendant, who has occasionally captained Sochaux in his 72 league appearances, hails from the Paris suburb of Sarcelles and holds both French and Vietnamese citizenship. Although he played for the French national team program at U-16 and U-18 levels, Pendant has not worn the bleus shirt since 2014 and has expressed a desire to represent Vietnam internationally.
The signing of Pendant couldn’t come soon enough for Red Bull fans aghast at the team’s defensive record in the 135 minutes since halftime against Cincinnati. While rookie Patrick Seagrist has shown flashes of talent and was far from alone in RBNY’s nervy showing in Salt Lake, his frequent exposures and allowance of service from the opponent’s right side put the need for an experienced left back in even sharper terms. That the team put Seagrist in such a position is a disservice to his early career much like that done to other RBNY fullbacks of recent lore.
But Pendant is a similarly reassuring signing like that of Mandela Egbo; a young player but one who has logged not-insignificant professional minutes at a reasonably challenging level in Europe. As both settle into the first team, one can hope their presence contributes to stabilizing an RBNY backline that has looked confused and outmatched in countless games since the playoff unraveling in Atlanta sixteen months ago.