Greg Sutton: “I Was The Fall Guy”

Last week, former Red Bull and Canadian International Greg Sutton was loaned out to the Montreal Impact after New York’s acquisition of goalkeeper and designated player, Frank Rost. The move was done suddenly, unexpectedly and with little explanation.

In his first public comments since joining the Canadian side, Sutton shed light on the entire situation and expressed his disappointment with the circumstances surrounding his departure from New York.

“I was a victim of the numbers game,” Sutton told the Winnipeg Free Press. “They tried to move the other goalkeeper but no other club was interested, so I was the fall guy for the whole scenario.”

Indeed, many expected keeper Bouna Coundoul to be the logical player transferred after the Red Bulls acquired Rost from the Hamburg organization. “Bouna Time” had clearly fallen out of favor with coach Hans Backe, who has looked for the most minute reasons to bench the former starter in favor of Sutton all season. Coundoul’s questionable distribution and positioning made Sutton the more reliable option in the coach’s eyes, but Sutton’s rigid play prevented him from claiming the starting position as his own.

Coundoul’s salary also dwarf’s Sutton’s ($178k to $75.6k respectively), which is surely a cap hit the Bull’s would want to do without. Imagine, then, what possible suitors would think knowing they would have to take a large cap hit for an erratic commodity?

Sutton’s comments shed light on the thought process from the teams brain trust that lead to one of the more surprising moves of the season. What do you think of his comments? Have your take, after the jump.


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  • Rob

    The “most minute details”? I’m really hoping that was just a turn of phrase Dave… his issues were not minute details.

    • Fair point. This is where I am coming from:

      When this whole Sutton/Coundoul battle began, it was minute reasons that Backe used to give Sutton a shot. For instance, Bouna’s first spanking at the hands of Chivas USA wasn’t bad enough to lose your starting position after the amazing start they enjoyed, but Backe handed it over to Sutton, waiting for the chance to give his preferred keeper a shot.

      Or look past that, even in the preseason, Bouna heading to play an international game for Senegal put his job at risk. Backe was looking for a reason all season to bench em.

      AFTER these episodes, the benchings became more warranted and performance based.

      • Mike

        And it’s not just the keepers he does this with. Look at how much playing time Ballouchy gets, when we had a much better da Luz on the bench. He was even benched the week after he scored in Portland in favor of Ballouchy, who seems to always pass backwards yet is called “attacking-minded” by Backe. Backe has his guys and sticks with them despite their failures, and it is this reason, along with a playing style that has been figured out by the league, that has me wanting him fired at the end of the season. I don’t care about continutity, when I only see things getting worse from more of Backe.

  • El Phenomeno

    I agree with Dave a 100%. Backe was using the lamest excuses ever to start Sutton over Bouna. The competition between those two should have never existed. Bouna, injured or not was actually very solid last year. His club record of shutouts was not pure luck. Sutton is not on Bouna’s level. How does the guy get 3 straight shutouts, great game against LA and he gets benched after the RedBulls lost to Chivas when none of the goals were his faults.And the retarded Media/Fans expect Bouna to be a 100% after all the BS Hans put him through. All great GKs make huge mistakes and go through a dark period in their careers. Bouna will bounce back. He is doing great for his national team.

    Oh by the way this new guy Rost is Hooooorrible and slow as hell…Hoorrible footwork and the Media love that guy. If Bouna had a performance similar to Rost’s against Colorado..He will get benched and that’s a fact.

    • Pauley

      Not a fan of Rost overrated European. Backe is to blame for all this team is going through. Bouna was a stand out keeper last season and was improving in all areas of his game. Backe at the start of the season benched him in favor of Sutton unreasonably with them troubled his confidence. Sutton has been a back up his whole career while Bouna has started for teams and is much younger and has the upside. Backe is a terrible manager, he makes terrible subs, he plays with players emotions and he can manage games. his strategies during the game suck and he cant make adjustments. Fire this fool before he sinks us further. we have the most talent in mls and cant win, why is that ?

  • Sutton was favored over Bouna, makes less money and doesn’t take up an international slot. Of course they would have rather moved Bouna. Unfortunately he had no trade value at all. He’s not a starting goalkeeper in MLS. Who is gonna pay $178k for an erratic back up who takes up an international slot?

    • All of that is probably a given, but for Sutton to just come straight out and say it publicly is quite the shocker.

  • Ferris

    Sutton claiming he was a victim of a numbers game? He would have rather been the lesser option kept around because his salary is cheaper until he can be replaced further down the road?

    Does anyone know how long Bouna’s contract is for? $178k is really a lot for a keeper in MLS – even a good one (regardless of whether Bouna is or not).

  • enzolives !

    No one wants Bouna? Like hell you say ! You mean the 4 goal thrashing in the open cup scared away all those potential suitors ??!! Im flabbergasted ! Those gorgeous goal kicks into the stands may have given teams a second thought about signing the second coming of the yashin ?! it would surprise me.

    On second thought, no it does not. Bouna, much like Richards, much like Pancho Villa, much like Ballsacky, much like Miller, should be scrubbing urinals . Awful, skilless, extremely overrated, disgustingly overpaid, frauds who should never have been allowed to step onto an mls field. Unfortunately, much like the fan base, management is clueless when it comes to recognizing true talent. Im surprised agudelo hasnt been traded for a stick of gum.

    • Q?

      Oh shut up…U just bitter cuz you were born in a urinal (whites only maybe?). Pissed off for getting pissed on? Stupid Trash…Don’t know how Trolls like you have access to the internet.

  • The GK debate really sets up Clever Hans for some harsh criticism…I would have rather seen Bouna play all season long than to see Sutton at all. I never found Sutton to be dynamic enough…it looks like he is scared to play most of the time. He doesn’t bring the grit that a GK should. Bouna on the other hand can sometimes be over-aggressive and based on this forgets his line and gets eaten up by a great-minded competitor or two. But honestly what would you prefer…

    I would rather go back to the Hans conversation and propose that Henry become the player coach given he seems to be running the entire team anyway and that Hans might be an obstacle to true success. Any thoughts on that Dave?


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