Red Bulls Notebook: Okugo Update, Roster Rotation, and More

Okugo Red Bulls

by RUSS McKENZIE

It was announce on Sunday before their match against Bethlehem Steel that Major League Soccer had completed the loan of Amobi Okugo to New York Red Bulls II.

Okugo played his first professional minutes this season in what seemed to be a kicking-the-tires situation.  

“(We’re still) not certain yet, but I think overall it was a pretty good game for him. We’re trying to see where that might fit in for the future,” Red Bulls boss Jesse Marsch stated after Monday’s practice.

However, a report from MSG.com suggests Okugo will not play a part in the team’s plans. That may be a shock to many Red Bull supporters, particularly in light of the team’s injury woes. However, Okugo does command a high price tag ($300k with Orlando last year) perhaps explaining, in part, the hesitancy for his signature.

RESPECT FOR KINNEAR

Jesse Marsch is making no secret of trying to get his group of players to believe in a system and a coaching philosophy.

At training Monday, Marsch saw some of those same qualities in San Jose coach Dominic Kinnear.

“Dominic Kinnear – his teams give everything they have,” he said. “It’s something he instills in his group. It’s something he should be very proud of because he’s been very successful with that.”

USL Rising and Roster Rotation

Facing short rest and a thin roster, the Red Bulls sent a group of players featured in Saturday’s roster to play in the Red Bulls II match vs Bethlehem Steel FC on Sunday evening.

The roster included Zach Carroll, Anatole Abang, Alex Muyl, Brandon Allen, and Tyler Adams.

Marsch has seen some positive results come from moves like this, and it could lead to some roster rotation.

The Red Bulls are in the middle of a busy week – one that sees them play three games in eight days.

“I think our USL team is vastly improved,” Marsch said. “Watching them over the first three games has made us proud. John (Wolyniec) and Ibra (Sekagaya) are doing a great job with that team and they’ve looked very good from the start.

“Our players have gone down there and taken it as a real opportunity to prove themselves and establish themselves with our team and I think it will lead to them getting first team minutes.”