New York Red Bulls sporting director Erik Soler said Tuesday that the club is not actively looking to sign a third Designated Player to join Thierry Henry and Rafa Márquez before the 2011 season begins in March.
The team parted ways with Juan Pablo Ángel after last season and watched him get scooped him by the LA Galaxy in the Re-Entry Draft in December. The Red Bulls, however, aren’t in any rush to fill the hole with another splash on the Designated Player market.
“We haven’t discussed any names at all,” Soler said. “We’re not going to have the DP in this window … I don’t think we need it.”
Soler added that although he believes the Red Bulls have a “very, very strong team this year,” they are open to possibly brining in a third DP when the summer transfer window opens.
“We are always looking for quality,” Soler said. “We have the potential, we have the financial support to bring in a third DP.”
Soler also announced that the club has signed Brazilian Marcos Paullo, a 20-year-old attacking midfielder who was on trial with the team last summer and drew praise from head coach Hans Backe for his flair and creativity
Paulo went home to Brazil after playing in the second half of the Barclay’s New York Challenge win over Manchester City without a contract but the club kept their eyes on the player.
Now, Soler said that Paullo has agreed to terms and he’s a player who provides options out wide for the team.
“We just agreed with his figures and numbers,” Soler said. “He will be an option for us.”
One player who might be coming close to the team is a young American star currently talking compensation with the league. Maryland midfielder Matt Kassel has been approached by the team about becoming one of their homegrown players.
The ACC standout has been having ongoing discussions with the club and played with the Red Bulls academy team while in high school.
“We want to sign Matt,” Soler said. “We have told Matt’s representatives and the league what we can do, salary-wise.”
It seems that Soler is keen on adding Kassel before the club departs for Mexico in early February to begin preseason training. The Red Bulls then head to Arizona after at least three friendlies south of the border to continue their season preparation.
Soler would like Kassel to be a part of the Red Bulls for the season.
“We hope that he will be a part of our roster for next year,” Soler said.