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June 29, 2007
Goldthwaite hits the ground running with Bulls

By Dylan Butler Associate Editor

Montclair, N.J. – Before he arrived as the latest Red Bulls player, Kevin Goldthwaite already had a few friends on the team. And he’s trying his best to know his teammates’ tendencies on the field as quickly as possible since he’ll be the starting left back when the Red Bulls face Columbus at Crew Stadium Saturday night.

“Coming into this weekend, Bruce has been harping on us to make sure we’re talking at all times, to make sure we’re always communicating so we don’t have any defensive lapses,” Goldthwaite said Thursday, after his second training session with New York.

On Wednesday, Goldthwaite was shipped to New York in a swap of left backs as Todd Dunivant was dealt to Toronto. It was the first move in what became a restructuring of a back line that has leaked 11 gals in the last four games.

“I think this is one of those trades where both teams get a good player,” Bruce Arena said. “I think a change in scenery for both players will probably be good for them.

“I think he’s a good left back with a real promising future,” Arena said of Goldthwaite. “He can play a little bit in the center as well as the left side of midfield so he fills a little bit of a hole that we’ve had.”

Not that players ever get used to getting traded, but it’s old hat for Goldthwaite, who was dealt from Houston with a 2008 first round pick to Toronto for veteran midfielder Richard Mulrooney in April.

“When I got traded to Toronto, my coach sat me down and said it was something that was really going to help your career and I agreed with him because I wasn’t getting any time in Houston,” Goldthwaite said. “I went up to Toronto and was able to play.”

Goldthwaite started immediately for TFC, scoring a goal and setting up another in nine games. But he was stunned when he was dealt for the second time this year.

“It’s sad to leave the guys in Toronto, sad to leave the club, it’s a great place, a great city,” Goldthwaite said. “At the same time I’m really excited about being here, playing for a guy like Bruce, being in a great area, I have some friends and there are some good guys on the team as well.”

Goldthwaite also disputed the rumors that started circulating about off-the-field issues in Toronto.

“I hope MLS veterans, guys who have been in the league, get a chance to maybe one day in their career go up and play there because it’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s as close to a European feel as you can get in North America. The fans are fantastic, sold out every game, so I have absolutely no hard feelings with the way things went down.”

There’s likely going to be more new faces in the back after the Red Bulls waived Taylor Graham and Tim Regan Wednesday.

The leading candidates are former U.S. international Tony Sanneh, versatile Chris Leitch or Argentine Mariano Fernandez.

“Waiving Regan and Graham was a result of their desire to be waived as opposed to remaining on semi-guaranteed contracts,” Arena said. “That was really the call by those players.”

The Red Bulls also dropped developmental player Hugh MacDonald, the fourth defender shipped out in 24 hours.

“I think he’s a young kid that can still play in the league, but didn’t show us enough to be able to keep him around right now,” Arena said of MacDonald, a Kearny, N.J. native who played at Monmouth University. “If he has a desire to come back here, the door is going to be open.”

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