Sources: Red Bulls pursue Impact’s Martins, Montreal eye Oyongo

Red Bulls Montreal Impact Felipe Martins Ambroise Oyongo

Several sources tell EOS the New York Red Bulls are in hot pursuit of Montreal Impact playmaker, Felipe Martins — and they may be willing to let go of value to get him.

According to one source, the Impact have been receptive to the inquiries, offering a like-for-like trade, sending Martins to New York for second year MLS player and Cameroonian international, Ambroise Oyongo.

Martins, 24, began his MLS career with the Impact in 2012, scoring four goals and assisting on 10 on the season. That also happened to be the first year of the franchise’s participation in MLS, with new Red Bull boss Jesse Marsch at their helm.

That connection sparked Marsch to identify Martins as a player of interest from the moment he arrived in New York. Martins has consistently started from 28-30 matches for Montreal in his three seasons, scoring 12 goals and assisting 24 in that time. Moreover, he represents another viable option at the attacking midfield spot, giving New York a bevy of choices with veteran Peguy Luyindula and rookie Leo Stolz fighting for minutes in the middle.

Oyongo, 23, was a breakout star for the Red Bulls during the 2014 season. Once an afterthought, the Cameroonian international earned the trust of New York’s coaching staff, filling in admirably for starting left back Roy Miller while the Costa Rican participated in the World Cup. He also proved to be an explosive figure on the left midfield spot. In total, the speedy Oyongo managed three assists in 11 starts and 13 appearances with the Red Bulls.

The deal is still in a state of flux, with the Red Bulls hesitant on parting with Oyongo. Still, their interest in Martins is real and may push the team to weigh out losses in order to acquire a signature.

Speaking to league sources, this is just one of many moves New York are pursuing. The Red Bulls are in the midst of a flurry of moves meant to buoy the club ahead of the coming preseason training camp. They have also begun to send invites to potential trialists for the February camps.

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  • Andrew Bissonette

    I would really love this move. Oyongo really isn’t a LB and didn’t play that great at left mid. Martins would be a great fit in that #10 role, but the only problem is that we would have a huge hole at LM/LW. Really wish we could have gone after Pudolski to fill that spot.

  • So just as we purchase his rights, and unearth a possible starter/significant role player, we want to let him go? I understand the allure of Martins, and think he’d be a great addition, but there’s got to be another way we can make room for him and still hold on to Oyongo. Although he wasn’t hugely inspiring, and had a couple boneheaded moments, he’s a promising, YOUTHFUL (Ali Curtis buzzword alert!), player who could cement the LB or LM position as his own if we allow him to develop. Double edged sword here…

    • JD

      I agree, I like this move just give up something besides Oyongo.

      • slowleftarm

        I agree but Montreal isn’t just going to give Martins away. They need to get some value on their end too.

  • Rob

    Unless there are other moves that come out of this, this would cause me to question the management team even more. Trading a player who could become a mainstay in a difficult position for a player who would arguably be third in the pecking order depending on how Stoltz looks.

    This move looks even more ridiculous if RBNY is indeed pursuing Klestjan….unless the team is not.

    Less and less optimistic by the day…

    • Robert

      …and now I am hearing that might well be the case…apparently part of the trade is for Montreal’s top allocation spot which would indicate that RBNY may have a much higher profile target in mind.

  • Tim F.

    Do not trade Oyongo. NYRBs would regret it. In midfield, the Red Bulls have only two players with skill and pace: Sam and Oyongo.


    At this moment, it sounds to me like RBNY is planning for life without Cahill or defense. I see them losing alot of 4-2 games at this pace. Where’s the D?

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  • paul mccrary

    So adding another midfielder while giving up defense. Guess Marsch will play with 2 guys on the back line

  • Anonymous

    Noooo don’t give up Oyongo. I like martins but Oyongo is so promising and explosive

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  • Nice post

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