Red Bulls sign Zubar, Jean-Baptiste, re-sign Perrinelle; trialists revealed

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by ERIC GIACOMETTI

As training camp gets underway in Orlando, the New York Red Bulls have just solidified numerous question marks throughout the squad.

With the well-documented departure of Jamison Olave coupled with the uncertain status of young starlet Matt Miazga leaving the centerback position in turmoil, Head Coach Jesse Marsch confirmed on Tuesday the signings of some reinforcements to help fill the void.

Andrew Jean-Baptiste, a Brooklyn native, got his professional career started in MLS after being selected by the Portland Timbers in the 2012 SuperDraft. Following a stint with Chivas USA, the Red Bulls have put pen to paper to bring in the versatile defender.

Familiar faces Damien Perinelle and Ibrahim Sekagya are also training with the first team in Florida, although only the former is signed to the squad.

“Sekagya is here training and part of the group, but his future isn’t totally certain right now,” Marsch explained.

Ligue 2 veteran Ronald Zubar has also been added to the Red Bulls roster to provide further depth at the centerback position. Marsch believes he will make in instant impact in MLS.

“We think he can meet the demands of what this league is, and his experience—the different clubs he’s played for, the different coaches he’s played for, the level of the game that he’s been around—I think he’ll not only be good physically in this league, but tactically and his level of play will really help out.”

Hoping to find permanent employment are journeymen Mike Grella and Tim Ward who join the team on trial. Grella (a Glen Cove native) and Ward (last seen in MLS with San Jose) may be options off the bench for New York.

“They’re two guys who are fairly experienced and we’re looking at them as guys who can help fulfill the depth we need within the team,” Marsch stated.

After an offseason of relative silence in the early going, it seems that New York has been doing plenty of work behind the scenes in preparation for the 2015 campaign. Despite the recent additions to the squad, Marsch admits there’s still work to be done before first kick in March.

“The only other potential piece is still trying to figure out how to complement Bradley Wright-Phillips up top.”

“We’re trying to really do a good job of starting to put together a foundation of what the future’s going to be while also rounding out our roster in a way where we feel that we can compete right away.”

  • Andrew Bissonette

    Really don’t like that Perrinelle re-signed. I don’t see how he’s going to have any impact on the team. Older, slow CBs have no place here in MLS. Otherwise, I’m excited about Zubar and AJB. I think they’ll be good for the team.

  • slowleftarm

    Pretty underwhelming. Hope Robles is on his toes, he’ll need to be with this cast of hacks and re-treads in front of him.

  • simon_m

    Zubar with his top level experience is a very positive addition to the team. As well as, Jean-Baptiste was with Caleb Porter during that first 1 1/2 yrs with Portland and a high draft pick to boot. After what must’ve been a tough year at Chivas he’s got to be excited to show what he’s made of this year. Plus he’s from NY. Andrew Jean-Baptiste is absolutely a defender to watch this season.

    • slowleftarm

      AJB was a high draft pick but then was a failure. The fact he’s from NY doesn’t mean he’ll be able to stop anyone. This team refuses to meaningfully address the back line, instead signing a bunch of marginal MLS players.