Red Bulls Wright-Phillips, Carney in “final stages” of visa process; Grella out


After a listless performance against the Columbus Crew over the weekend, the New York Red Bulls can clearly use any help they can get.

If they are lucky, the cavalry may be closing in on Red Bull Arena. As Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh pointed out last week, Bradley Wright-Phillips could very well be available for this Saturday’s big showdown against conference rival, the Philadelphia Union.

And he may not arrive alone.

“Both Bradley and (David) Carney are in the final stages getting the approval for their visas,” Head Coach Mike Petke revealed late Tuesday afternoon. “We should expect to hear something momentarily in a positive way.”

Without the support of Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill, the Red Bulls struggled mightily in the final third, failing to pressure a Crew defense which has historically had issues containing New York’s offense. Wright Phillips, who enjoyed back to back 20 goal seasons just a few years ago, could be a welcome addition for an under-performing forward or midfield corps.

However the desperate the situation may or may not be, that won’t rush Petke to throw Wright-Phillips or Carney in against the Union.

“That all depends what day they are made available,” he explained. “At this moment, I believe (Wright-Phillips) is in England finalizing his visa. If he did get that done, which I will be getting a report in the next hour or so, if done today and on a plane back, yes, he can be an option for this weekend for sure. If it’s Thursday and he is flying in and getting in Friday, it would be unfair to the player and the club to make him available.

“Unless he comes back on Friday’s training and running around phenomenally, looking great, feeling great, then potentially, but I think it’s more when he gets it finalized and when he gets back to us.”

One player who will not be in the team’s short term plans is local boy, Mike Grella. His one week trial concluded Monday, with a promise to reconnect in the offseason.

“Mike did well,” Petke said. “I know Mike from back when he was in college. He is a very technical and good player. At this stage where we just signed two players from a salary cap and roster spot situation, we had him in, looked at him, had a talk with him last night and at this moment, we were not able to do anything with him. In the unlikely situation that he will be available at preseason next year, he is the type of player I would love to have in and seriously consider having a look at. At this moment right now, we are going to part ways.”

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