HARRISON, N.J. (Dec. 4, 2013) – The New York Red Bulls announced today that they have signed midfielder Eric Alexander, defender Kosuke Kimura and forward Péguy Luyindula to new contracts. Per club and league regulations, specific terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“Coming off of winning the MLS Supporters’ Shield, we wanted to ensure that we maintained some continuity in our roster, and all three players contributed to our success in 2013,” said Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh.
After being acquired on Feb. 11, 2013 from the Portland Timbers in exchange for allocation money, Alexander, 25, had a career year for New York. The only field player to appear in every one of New York’s regular-season matches, Alexander recorded personal highs in games (34), starts (30), goals (4) and shots (33). Alexander also played in two playoff games and scored a goal in the team’s Eastern Conference semifinal series against Houston on Nov. 3.
“Eric emerged this year as one of our most dependable players, and we are pleased to reach a new deal with him,” Roxburgh said. “His versatility in the midfield and his technical quality helped us throughout the season, and we think that he has a bright future ahead of him.”
Drafted out of Indiana University in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Alexander spent his first season with FC Dallas before being traded during the 2011 season to the Timbers. In 2012, Alexander played in 24 games for Portland, notching six assists.
See Alexander's goal from the Supporters' Shield-clinching win against Chicago:
Kimura, 29, was also acquired in the 2012-13 offseason from Portland on Dec. 3, 2012, along with a natural second-round 2013 MLS SuperDraft pick (which was used on midfielder Ian Christianson) in exchange for allocation money and the Homegrown-Player rights for defender Bryan Gallego. Kimura played in 24 games (15 starts) and tallied two assists for New York in 2013.
“Kosuke is an outstanding character who provides us with experience at fullback, and we are happy to re-structure his contract for next year,” Roxburgh said. “We believe that he has a lot to contribute on the field, and his professionalism in the locker room and around his teammates was certainly an asset this year.”
Originally drafted by the Colorado Rapids in the third round (35th overall) of the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft out of Western Illinois University, Kimura became the first Japanese-born player in MLS and played in 117 total games for the Rapids from 2007-2012, starting 109 and recording four goals and eight assists. In 2010, Kimura featured in 23 matches and was a key component in the Rapids’ MLS Cup championship. Kimura was traded to Portland in July 2012 and played in 17 games for the Timbers, starting in 16 and recording one goal and one assist.
Luyindula was signed by New York on March 19, 2013 after previously playing for renowned French side Paris Saint-Germain. Serving as both a forward and a central midfielder, Luyindula made 22 appearances (9 starts) while tallying one goal and seven assists – a mark that put him second on the club in the category behind Thierry Henry (9). Luyindula played a crucial role in helping New York clinch the Supporters’ Shield, recording three assists in the Red Bulls’ 5-2 regular season-ending win over the Chicago Fire on Oct. 27.
“Péguy showed, especially toward the end of the 2013 season, that he can provide a different dimension to our attack,” Roxburgh said. “He brings a tremendous amount of experience from his time at the top level in Europe, and we think he can contribute to our squad once he has a full preseason under his belt in 2014.”
Prior to coming to MLS, Luyindula, 34, had been with PSG since 2007. At PSG, Luyindula played in 179 games in all competitions, scoring 37 goals. Prior to joining PSG, Luyindula was with French club Olympique de Marseille from 2004-05 before heading on loan to Auxerre (2005-05) and Spanish side Levante at the start of the 2006 campaign. He started his career at Niort in 1997 before moving to Strasbourg for three-plus years. The former French international competed in the UEFA Champions League at Olympique Lyonnais from 2001-2004, scoring 46 goals in 126 appearances in all competitions while helping his team win two league championships.
Watch Luyindula set up Lloyd Sam for a goal: