Red Bulls’ Hot Stove: Drogba hints at Red Bull interest, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Trialists, more

IMAGE, MLSSOCCER.COM

It has been some time since the New York Red Bulls have been connected to a star international player, but that changed Monday evening.

While attending a comedy show in Marrakech, reporters asked former Chelsea striker and club legend Didier Drogba about any possible interest in heading to New York this summer — particularly with the Red Bulls.

“OK, just call the owners and then I’m there,” he replied

His comments don’t seem to be lip service either. Just as reporters asked Drogba about a Red Bulls move, he was also asked about the chance of returning to Marseilles — the club of his youth.

His response was not nearly as playful.

“There comes a time when it has to stop. I didn’t ask for any of this. I love the Marseille fans, and I am myself a Marseille supporter, but they have to stop throwing around rumors like that because it’s starting to get too much,” he said.

Drogba, 37, left Stamford Bridge after Chelsea’s championship winning season this year. He earned four goals in 28 appearances with the club (eight starts).

The Red Bulls are in need of depth in the attack. Forward Bradley Wright-Phillips stands as the only viable option at striker for the club at this moment. Drogba, however, is certainly not a player New York would sign for reinforcement purposes. Drogba would automatically earn a starting spot in the New York XI. Further, his mere presence would force coach Jesse Marsch to retool his single-striker formation; a move the organization may be averse to make.

And then there is the matter of budgets. The Red Bulls are still under a salary crunch. Spending DP money on a 37-year-old commodity would certainly fly in the face of the team’s current belt-tightening initiatives.

BRADLEY’S BROTHER IN CAMP — TO TRAIN

Shaun Wright-Phillips has always been linked to a Red Bull move since his brother came on board in 2013. Now, he is training with the club in their Hanover complex — but don’t read into it much.

According to Big Apple Soccer, the veteran Premiership midfielder is simply training with the club after arriving in New York for his brother Bradley’s wedding. When asked if the former Queens Park Rangers winger was on trial, Marsch denied the assumption.

THREE TRIALISTS IN CAMP

While both Drogba and Wright-Phillips invade the Red Bull rumor mill, three more practical options have been auditioning for a part with the club.

Big Apple Soccer has spotted Jamaican Devon “Speedy” Williams, Englishman Trey Williams and Trinidad & Tobago youth international Andre Fortune in Red Bull camp.

If you haven’t heard their names before, it’s OK; each player is a youth option with limited experience on the senior level. Devon Williams, 23, is a midfielder and former Jamaican youth international who most recently played for Robert Morris University. Trey Williams, 18, is a Queens Park Rangers youth product and Fortune, 18, is a Trinidad and Tobago U-17 international.

  • slowleftarm

    RBNY need another striker in the worst way and Drogba would obviously help. I’d prefer to see a younger DP who’ll stay 4-5 years like Henry did but Drogba would certainly help this year and probably next.

    Just nitpicking – but Drogba played one season at Marseille when he was 25, so it’s not the club of his youth.

  • mls needs help

    Ribinho would be better for red bull n drogba for san jose earthquake s or dc.

    • slowleftarm

      Is there any evidence Robinho wants to come to MLS? He was recalled to the Brazil squad for the Copa America so I think playing in Brazil is working out pretty well for him.

  • Dan

    Hercules Gomez is in talks with the cosmos. Looks like he is joining the cosmos soon.

  • Furtado

    No DP coming unless they are willing to take payment in the form of cases of sugar free Redbull. The other trialists are really a joke in my mind. I find it hard to believe redbull as a corp entity could be serious with the cheapo strategy unless they truly dont care about this niche or are getting prepared to field offers to sell.To run the club in this fashion is just nonsensical otherwise.No panache,no publicity and the upper echelon has been virtually dead silent.Just a really strange dynamic going on…..maybe someone smarter than me can figure it out b/c Im at a loss.

  • Dave L

    The Mets of soccer, this year’s Mets record not withstanding…..

  • Other than BWP, McCarty,Sam, Klejstan and Robles….who else would start on another MLS team or even make another team?

    • slowleftarm

      Seriously? You don’t think Miller, Lawrence, Duvall, Miazga, Felipe etc. could even make MLS teams? RBNY are mid-table, not the worst team in the league.

      • Questionable to me…likely some would land elsewhere,but they are simply not very good and could have a tough time finding a landing spot. The fact that we are even debating the issue is depressing to me as I am a hopeful supporter and former season tix holder. I just can’t believe how uninspiring they have become IMO.

        • slowleftarm

          It’s only debatable because you chose to “debate” it. Those guys would all start on many other teams in MLS. RBNY doesn’t have a great team but they are far from the worst in the league. You don’t think Miazga could get in the NYCFC team for instance?

          • tony

            Reasonable minds may differ but perhaps I am overstating the point.I dont believe they would start on many other teams and Im alot more pessimistic about Miazga than you. Physically gifted but a slow thinker IMO, which is the death knell in a defender.Yes he is very young,but that necessary trait cannot be taught.Sure he can have a career here in the states but doubtful in a more technical,faster elite league.I think without reinforcements RB will continue to sink towards the bottom end. At best they will tread water,which for this market and me is not good enough.I want to be entertained….they flat out cannot do it.

            • slowleftarm

              I’m not defending the approach of ownership but the Red Bulls starters are MLS caliber starters. I’d like some more depth and some DPs of course.

    • Brendan

      You’re kidding! At best, Dax, Felipe, and BWP are ham-and-eggers that should be in USL Pro. They’re crap.

    • Brendan

      You’re kidding! At best, Dax, Felipe, and BWP are MLS grinders that should be in USL Pro. They’re crap.

  • Chuck

    Just stop. Soda FC isn’t bringing in any DPs. Our Austrian Overlords don’t care as long as their ad (our Jerseys) get on TV.