RBNY Notebook: Petke decided on trialists, talks cap woes, more

Last year, the New York Red Bulls brought in a series of trialists in hopes of finding a quick and affordable fix to supplement their roster needs.

Bradley Wright-Phillips and Ibrahim Sekagya earned their way to the team and proved to be vital to their fortune both last season and during the present campaign.

However, to say that either man was a bargain would be a stretch.

This year, the hunt for an affordable impact player continues. A trio of talented products, including Brazilian attacking midfielder Diego Souza Xavier, French centerback Damien Perrinelle and Scottish midfielder Martin Woods, have joined the club over the past several weeks in order to garner attention from the technical staff.

Each has made their impression, and Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke is ready to decide their fate.

“On the trialists, yes, I have made decisions, in my mind,” Petke told reporters this week. “It’s not just my decision obviously. In my mind, I’ve seen what I had to see. It would be ideal to see them again in a longer duration match, but obviously time is not kind to us with these guys having other options and you need to make decisions.

“Obviously the trialists for the most part aren’t up to 90 minutes fitness at this point. We saw enough from the trialists which I will not comment on at this time, but by the next conference call, obviously I will.”

The trio participated in a full scrimmage with the Red Bull reserves against their U-23 NPSL side this past Tuesday. Petke watched on for the opening 25 minutes, analyzing not only the trailists, but the young academy players as well.

“As far as our players, for all of them, even the 23’s, the first 20-25 minutes were very lively and with this heat, it was a very grueling remaining 60 minutes or so,” he said.

“I saw enough. I had a bunch of questions answered for me, not only from the trialists but from our young players that we had there and that’s enough for me at this point going into this weekend to make certain decisions.”


Petke acknowledged the restrictions on the team due to their cap issues, offering his pragmatic assessment on the situation.

“It’s not as simple as saying you like a guy, we’ll sign him right now,” he explains. “We have a full roster with a full, maxed out salary cap. So it doesn’t just go into, you like a player you’re going to sign him. It goes into you like a player, you’d like to sign him, OK, but what moves do we have to make to sign this player? So all that goes into it.

“Part of me is glad I don’t handle that kind of thing,” he continued. “I am not a money guy, I am not a contract guy, but obviously these players need to know, so they’re going to know very shortly.”


  • Seldom used Homegrown player Connor Lade received a distinct honor this week, invited to take part in the MLS inaugural “Homegrown Game” against the Portland Timbers U-23 team.  This will be part of the festivities leading up to the All Star Game.
  • The Red Bulls have allowed Costa Rican fullback Roy Miller to head home with his team after the World Cup.  Miller is still carrying an undisclosed injury to his right quadriceps.   Since he would not be available to play this weekend against Columbus, the club allowed him to travel to Costa Rica where the team received a heroes welcome.
  • Petke on his recent change of heart to give young players minutes:  “This year, to be honest with you, I’ve done a lot of thinking and I figured in my mind I can’t keep going along with this mindset, yes I’m going to get them in, but that time never really came, because of being result driven. Having a little bit of security just for the next year, a little over a year now left, I said to myself, when I’m done here, whether that be at the end of this contract, or ten years from now, what do I want to have on my resume, what do I want as my legacy I guess.  As a guy that was brought up in this in organization since I was drafted and the one thing that really kept calling me back was that I want this to be a true New York club, a homegrown type club. I don’t want it to be relying on older, more experienced players that come in every year or two. I want to start somewhere, and start from the bottom and have guys have longevity here, have guys grow up in this club and learn from it and be very identifiable with it.”
  • Petke on Miazga, Duvall, Oyongo:  “The good thing about those three young men are they’re eager, they’re willing to learn and they want the information and they want to run with this.  They’re not taking this opportunity for granted which is very important, which I’ve relayed to them. They need to have the same attitude every day from this point on that they had leading up to their first start which is the reason they got that first start.”

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  • Anonymous

    Come watch MLS after the World Cup , oh by the way we have a Salary Cap > ENJOY !

  • Like what Petke says about bringing up the young players. That trio has been a real bright spot! Looking forward to seeing the new signing as well.

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