NEW YORK – The New York Red Bulls have shored up their bench ahead of what they hope to be a deep run in the MLS Cup playoffs, acquiring veteran MLS defender Carey Talley from archrivals D.C. United for a conditional second round pick in January’s SuperDraft.
The deal took place before the roster freeze deadline on Wednesday, but was officially announced by the two clubs on Thursday morning.
Talley, 34, goes from the last-placed team in the league to the fifth-best, and improves the Red Bulls’ depth at central defender. Both Tim Ream and Carlos Mendes have been fixtures at the position this season.
Red Bulls officials on Thursday said that although he's available to play, Talley is not likely to dress for the team against FC Dallas on Thursday night at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas.
Talley adds some veteran poise and presence to the team, and is seventh all-time in league appearances. He also won the MLS Cup, the CONCACAF Champions Cup and the Interamerican Cup while with D.C. United.
Already on the Red Bulls' bench are New Zealand World Cup defender Andrew Boyens and veteran Mike Petke, who recently announced his retirement at the end of the year. Designated Player Rafa Márquez can also play in the rearguard if required and has done so for the Mexican National Team, but Red Bulls coach Hans Backe has insisted the former Barcelona star will remain in the midfield.
New York will be the sixth MLS club of Talley's 12-year career. He's started three matches for D.C. United since June, and has appeared in 15 games overall for the club this season.