September 12, 2012
SO FAR, SO GOOD
Leite, Kaka's brother, impresses in Red Bulls trial
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Rodrigo Leite has impressed Red Bulls coach Hans Backe during his short trial with the team.
Photo by Kristian R. Dyer
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – With the Sept. 15 roster freeze date looming, the Red Bulls could be closing in on one if not two signings.
Coach Hans Backe said on Tuesday following training at Montclair State University that Rodrigo Leite, a Brazilian center back, is on trial with the team. Known as Diago, he is the brother of Brazilian legend Kaka, who was linked with the Red Bulls this summer.
Diago joined the Red Bulls last Friday for a training session.
“He’s done well. A solid center back, good in the air because of his height, composed, good to build up,” Backe said.
Diago had a fitness test on Tuesday and that will factor into the decision to make him a late-season addition.
“He’s done quite well for us. When you pick up players in this transfer window it’s all about fitness,” Backe said.
“We don’t have that much time; we have seven games to go and then playoffs so that’s why we also made the test today.”
The other player hoping to make the roster is former Charleston Battery midfielder Nicki Paterson. In training on Tuesday Paterson played centrally in a scrimmage and took some set pieces.
“Technically very good, phenomenal work rate,” Backe said.
“I’d say he’s a box-to-box midfielder, even if with Charleston he had a free role. Moving wide left, wide right, central.”
But don’t expect the Red Bulls to sign both players.
“I think we have space for one more coming in,” Backe said. “We have to make a decision Friday.”