UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – The MLS season just ended for the New York Red Bulls, but the transfer silly season is getting a head start.
Head coach Hans Backe addressed the media on Thursday, exactly a week after his team's playoff run was ended by the San Jose Earthquakes, revealing that New York may field just two Designated Players in 2011.
Backe definitively said on Wednesday that forward Juan Pablo Angel is “not coming back” and that he wasn’t sure how the team would proceed with the open DP slot.
Despite the fact that this summer the Red Bulls became the first club in MLS history to field three Designated Players, Backe said his club isn't tied to that model for next year. In fact, Backe admitted he doesn’t see the pieces in place at this time to replace Ángel with another high-profie import.
"As it looks now, I think we’ll stay with two,” Backe said.
However, the coach did confirm that New York would be active in the transfer market throughout the winter.
“I don’t like to put out numbers, [but] three to four players in, that’s a maximum,” Backe said, adding that figure does not include additions via the MLS SuperDraft.
Two longtime reported targets for the Red Bulls include Norwegian international Jan Gunnar Solli and English attacker Luke Rodgers. However, Backe could not yet confirm any movement on those fronts.
“Nothing is done,” Backe said.
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012