Tainio can play any position in the midfield and has even spent some time at right back, but is best known for his play as a defensive midfielder. The Finland International’s versatility and experience at the top level of soccer in some of Europe’s best leagues, including the English Premier League and Dutch Eredivisie, will be valuable to the Red Bulls in 2011.
2011: Started in 28 games, adding two assists. Made Red Bulls debut and earned first MLS assist, setting up Agudelo’s winner on March 19 in 1-0 win versus Seattle. Left match on April 30 vs. Sporting Kansas City at halftime with groin injury, and missed following match on May 7 at Los Angeles. Picked up second assist of the season on Lindpere’s first goal in 2-2 tie at San Jose on July 2. Suspended for July 9 match vs. D.C. United due to card accumulation after picking up yellow card on July 6 vs. Toronto FC. Was a late scratch from lineup on July 20 at Colorado. Traveled but missed game at Real Salt Lake on Aug. 6 due to flu-like symptoms. Was sent off after receiving two yellow cards on Aug. 20 at New England, missing Vancouver match on Sept. 10 as a result.
2010-11: Started one game with Ajax and came on as a substitute in three others.
2009-10: Suffered a calf injury and was loaned to Birmingham City after scoring a goal in his only and final appearance for Sunderland. Played only six matches with Birmingham.
2008-09: Played in 22 matches with Sunderland.
2007-08: Appeared in 21 matches over three competitions, winning the Football League Cup.
2006-07: Made 20 starts and scored two goals in the Premier League and appeared in 32 matches across four competitions for Spurs.
2005-06: Transferred to Tottenham Hotspur, making 24 Premier League appearances and one in the English FA Cup. Scored a goal and added four assists, all in league play.
1997-05: Spent eight years with French Ligue 1 club AJ Auxerre, making 150 appearances and scoring 14 goals in league play, including a career-high four in all competitions during the 2003-04 season. Won the Coupe de France twice and played seven matches in the UEFA Champions League in 2002-03. Also scored two goals in 11 UEFA Cup matches from 2002-05.
1996-97: Began his senior career with FC Haka in the Veikkausliiga, Finland’s premier division, scoring four goals in just 20 appearances. Played in the first team with hometown club TP-47 in Finland’s third division at just 14 years old.
Debuted with Finland at the age of 18 on February 5, 1998, against Cyprus. Has scored six goals and earned 51 caps over the past decade.